Fourth graders today, engineers tomorrow?

Charter School for Applied Technology fourth-grade students enjoy a hands-on tour of National Grid in Buffalo, NY.

Charter School for Applied Technology fourth-grade students enjoy a hands-on tour of National Grid in Buffalo, NY.

About 140 fourth graders from the Charter School for Applied Technologies stopped by National Grid in Buffalo, NY, for a special tour. Employee volunteers spoke about energy, safety and future careers, and included some hands-on fun along the way.

The visit began with New York Safety director Bob Brown, who shared the importance of safety and provided protective gear for students to try on. The session also included table-top displays to help illustrate how electricity works and proper safety precautions.

The students then rotated in groups through the Overhead Lines, Stations, Underground and Construction departments for employee-guided tours. Employee volunteers spoke with each group about the work they do and the special tools they use.

Demonstrations in each area included opportunities to see, touch and try on equipment. Manager Wayne Cole walked students through open and closed circuits in the lab. Manager John Burke and team displayed substation and network vault equipment while explaining their work. Sr. supervisors Joe Ciura and Mike Niemic showed what an underground work area looks like, while kids helped to hoist a dummy through a man hole. Jim Middelton and team shared construction equipment while the students toured various trucks.

Buffalo-students-5“Our employees are the best. They went above and beyond to make this a great event for the students,” said Community and Customer Management coordinator Natalie Terhaar. “It was wonderful to see how much the kids enjoyed learning about the work we do,” she said.

The fourth-graders finished their visit with pizza and a closing session with Director Leonard Fiume. Shout out to Terhaar, the tour guides and the many employee volunteers from each area who worked to make the students’ visit interesting, informative and fun.

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