We Energies employees recently hosted 18 middle-school-aged students at its Elm Road Generating Station in Oak Creek for a “STEAM camp.” The camp was sponsored by Strang Inc., a local architecture firm, along with Milwaukee School of Engineering, and focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Employees created an interactive educational experience for the students who visited the site to help these underserved youth begin learning about careers in STEAM fields.

The students learned about the different ways to make power, including a pinwheel “turbine” demonstration. In an overview of the generating station and coal handling, they watched videos of railcar dumping and drone use in a boiler inspection. Campers learned about environmental controls and the beneficial uses of combustion byproducts. In a hands-on experiment, the students used mini “generators” made from a coil of copper wire, a bar magnet and a paper towel tube to create measurable power. They also learned about some of the numerous STEAM career opportunities within We Energies. The final activity was a guided tour of the generating station.

Rita Zahn, one of the chaperones from Strang Inc., shared how much the students enjoyed the tour and activities. Zahn is collaborating with We Energies to participate in the STEAM camp again, in 2024.

We Energies presenters reported having a great time with the students as well.

“They asked great questions,” said employee Francesca Ricchio. “And watching the information click as they learned about all the different moving parts involved with getting the electricity to their outlets was really cool. I look forward to being part of this again next year.”