Students from 10 MCPSS high schools got a look at careers they could pursue in the energy field recently, thanks to a program at Williamson High School sponsored by Alabama Power and the American Association of Blacks in Energy.
At the BEAM (Blacks in Energy Awareness Month) program, Alabama Power site managers and employees and AABE members shared information about careers in energy with the students and led them in some hands-on, engineering-related activities.
“That is one of the missions of the Gulf Coast chapter – to educate minority students on energy careers. We’re trying to present that information to them in a different way – not just with speakers but with hands-on experience,” Clinton Johnson Jr., Prichard office manager for Alabama Power. “We would love for them to go into an energy-related field, but I hope they just realize that it doesn’t matter what you do in life – if you go to college, what career you pursue – you can be a productive citizen and we want you to continue on with your education in some form or fashion.”
Students got a first-hand look at some of the equipment Alabama Power uses to provide electricity to the region, and took part in a competition to see who could build the tallest tower out of dry spaghetti and gum drops.
“It’s a good experience to have these engineers come to talk to all these students,” said Williamson High senior Demetrius Davis. We’ve been learning about building ourselves and what challenges people went through. We learned about someone who had a low ACT score and how they overcame that, and someone who didn’t know what they wanted to do when they were in college.
“I worked with Alabama Power this summer as an intern and it was a good experience,” he added. “I’ve thought about going into engineering. I’ve looked a civil engineering because I like building roads and how bridges can be better.”