SRNL Opens Storefront in JA Discovery Center of the Central Savannah River Area 

By Scott Shaw
January 17, 2024

Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) opened its storefront within the Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia Discovery Center of the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) in Evans, Georgia, on Thursday, Jan. 11.  

Junior Achievement Discovery Centers blend key components of education to create state-of-the-art learning facilities where students apply concepts they learn in the classroom in a 360-degree, authentic and immersive experience. At the center, students become part of a simulated version of their hometown within two innovative programs: JA BizTown® and JA Finance Park®.  Students work together with peers and adult volunteers to develop their skills and an understanding of financial concepts while fostering an entrepreneurial spirit. The JA Discovery Center of the CSRA will benefit middle school students in Richmond and Columbia counties in Georgia.

“We’re excited to partner with JA Georgia in the opening of its Discovery Center of the CSRA,” said SRNL Deputy Lab Director Sharon Marra. “Our storefront within the Discovery Center of the CSRA will help motivate, engage and inspire students, equip them with key career-readiness skills, and help them to be financially literate by understanding key business principles.”   

The JA Discovery Center of the CSRA during its grand opening on Jan. 11.

Battelle Savannah River Alliance, the manager and operator of Savannah River National Laboratory, sponsored the SRNL storefront.  In the SRNL storefront, 6th grade students will interact within a simulated economy and take on the roles of employee, taxpayer and consumer. Students discover the intricacies of being a professional and a member of the community while working a specific role within SRNL.  As part of the JA Finance Park, 7th graders create and maintain a household budget and have the rare opportunity to experience their personal financial futures first-hand. Every student receives a real- life scenario which they must manage and consider factors including education, family size and income.

SRNL is one of 30 organizations participating in the JA Discovery Center of the CSRA.   The center’s goal is to provide every child, no matter their background, the opportunity to develop skills to become financially independent and responsible.  This center will enable JA of Georgia to reach into the CSRA and provide invaluable experiences for up to 15,000 students per year. 

Inside the SRNL Storefront at the JA Discovery Center.

Inside the SRNL Storefront at the JA Discovery Center.

Inside the SRNL Storefront at the JA Discovery Center.