North Point STEM programs get a boost from Siemens
One of seven schools nationally selected for partnership
By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU firstname.lastname@example.org
North Point High School’s electrical construction program has gotten a big boost after being selected for a partnership with the international electronics and manufacturing company Siemens AG.
Siemens announced last month that North Point was one of seven U.S. schools that had been selected to be a Si- school, receiving a “training wall” including electrical meter sockets, load centers, breakers and surge products, as well as a training curriculum and annual seminars.
“The electrical engineering landscape has changed dra- matically even over the last 10 years, so we need to ensure that the workforce of tomor- row is prepared,” Barry Powell, head of Siemens low voltage and systems, said in a news release. “By providing schools with the latest in engineering technology, students can have a true hands-on approach to learning that we hope will help develop the next generation of great American engineers.”
North Point’s electrical construction program is one of the school’s Science, Technology and Industry (STI) programs, a three-year program which prepares students to enter into construction and electrician apprenticeships or continue on to a four-year college program in electrical engineering or construction management.
“The program is designed to give students a good founda- tion in any area in the electri- cal industry they choose to go into,” said Keith Gascon, North Point’s electrical construction teacher.
The electrical construction program accepts 15 students per year into its program, Gas- con said, noting he was sur- prised to be contacted out of the blue to take part in the Siemens program.
“He said we came highly rec- ommended, that he understood we had a very high-level program here,” he said.
Junior Alexis Rye, 16, decided to follow in her family’s foot- steps when she enrolled in the program.
“I actually joined the program because my dad is an electri- cian,” Rye said. “So I thought it would be good to follow in his footsteps, see what it’s all about. I’m not sure what my career plans are yet, but I want to keep my options open.”
Rye said she likes hands-on work, and said the skills she’s learned in the program would help even outside of a career.
“I’ll be able to do things around my house,” Rye said. “I’ll know how it’s worked, how it’s wired. You get to know everything behind it. Even if I don’t use it, it’s still a great thing to have. Mr. Gascon says, ‘Once you have a skill, no one can take it away from you.’”
Jaylen Wilson, 16, is another junior in the electrical construction program.
“I like to do hands-on work,” Wilson said. “I’m not one to sit at a desk all day.”
Isaiah Emond, 16, joined the program because of his stepfa- ther, an electrical engineer in the militar y.
“It’s a trade that makes a decent amount of money, and it’s a field that you’ll never get rid of,” said Edmond.
Edmond praised the partnership with Siemens.
“They gave us a lot of new product that we can use, so it will be a great benefit to learn more about it,” Edmond said.
Gascon said the equipment donated by Siemens would retail for approximately $8,000.
“It’s just like in the real world, what you might find in a fourunit apartment building,” he said.
Gascon, teaching, said the technology upgrade from Siemens is a huge benefit to his program.
“I’m really excited about this,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to work towards a partnership with a manufacturer/distributor.”