Students participate in a sustainable energy simulation. From left to right: Emily Valentine (Central Square), Anthony Funke (Central Square) and Elyce Buell (Skaneateles).
Liverpool For one week in August, students from all over Central New York converged at National Grid’s Technical Training Center in Liverpool to explore their interest in engineering. As part of National Grid’s Engineering Our Future program, the students were invited to take part in several lectures and hands-on activities that increased the student’s understanding of engineering, National Grid and the gas and electric power industries.
The main component of Engineering Our Future is the Engineering Pipeline Program, a six year program that begins the student’s junior year of high school. When students are admitted into the program, they attend two summer “engineering academies” and compete for summer internships with National Grid during their summers. If students complete the program successfully, they may be offered a job with National Grid.
During the first week of August, National Grid held their “Year 2 Engineering Academy” for members of the program who start as college freshmen next year. Among the 16 participants were recent graduates of Marcellus High School, Skaneateles High School, East Syracuse-Minoa High School, Cicero-North Syracuse High School, G. Ray Bodley High School, Paul V. Moore High School, Charles W. Baker High School and Homer Central High School.
“I think the program offers some great opportunities,” said Elyce Buell, of Skaneateles, one of the programs’ participants, “the instructors really knew what they were talking about, and I really enjoyed the hands on activities.”
In addition to learning about the power industry, students participated in leadership, teamwork and professional development activities, such as building solar powered cars and conducting mock job interviews.
“I’d definitely recommend the program to anyone interested in engineering,” noted Buell, “It’s a great experience.”