Yearly Archives: 2017

FWEE Academy wins Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters public education award

In baseball, a double-play means two outs are made at one time. But in hydropower, a double play can mean two partners are simply “outstanding.”   FWEE and Chelan County PUD received the 2017 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters (OSAW) Award from the National Hydropower Association (NHA) on May 2 at the NHA’s annual conference in Washington DC.

The OSAW award for Public Education is for the work done in the first-ever FWEE Hydropower and STEM Academy, hosted by Chelan County PUD at Rocky Reach Dam in June 2016.  The academy challenged high school students with five days of hydropower education and hands-on experiences while meeting engineers, divers, fish biologists and others who explained the many tasks required to operate a hydropower plant. Employees also teamed with college educators, counselors and apprentice program specialists to consider various educational pathways available to follow a career in hydropower.

“NHA is pleased to present Chelan County PUD and Foundation for Water and Energy Education with the OSAW Award for Public Education,” said Linda Church Ciocci, NHA’s Executive Director. “Chelan County PUD and FWEE are creating hydropower’s leaders of tomorrow. By developing a fun curriculum to engage students, the academy is ensuring hydropower will continue to provide clean, renewable energy for years to come.”

Since 2007, the NHA has presented OSAW awards in three categories each year:
•    Public education
•    Operational excellence
•    Recreational, historical and environmental enhancement

Click here to learn more about the 2017 Hydropower Academy

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Calling all high school students: Hydropower STEM Career Academy June 19 – 23 at Rocky Reach Dam in Wenatchee, WA

Bayley Babcock, 15, Wenatchee, left, celebrates with Zachary Vidrine, 16, Moses Lake, after successfully closing a wire circuit that had been frustrating them while they constructed an electric generator Friday. They were taking part in a hydroelectric power academy class at Rocky Reach Dam last week.

Calling all high school students: Spring break is the time to apply for our one-week summer academy. Click here to learn more and apply for the Hydropower and STEM Academy this summer at Chelan PUD’s Rocky Reach Dam in Wenatchee, WA from June 19 through 23.

Students will be exploring the physics of producing hydropower, race solar cars and fly their own drone. These are part of STEM challenges that include meeting and doing hands-on activities with mechanical and electrical engineers, plant mechanics and operators, divers, and linemen.

Click here to see a short video of the 2016 Academy in action. Said Chuck Allen, with Grant County PUD, “Here in central Washington, we are in the heart of the Northwest hydropower industry. There are thousands of exciting and dynamic jobs that can lead to high-paying and rewarding careers for area students to consider. The FWEE STEM Academy provides a wonderful opportunity for students to see what hydro has to offer.”

The Academy is open to students throughout the Northwest with a GPA of 2.5 or better. Students can go to www.fwee.org/academy to learn more and complete their application.

Over the course of the week, educational pathways will unfold as students connect career options to four-year college, community college and/or apprenticeship options that best suit their interests.

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Hydropower utilities address silver tsunami with Hydropower STEM career academy

The “silver tsunami of hydropower retirement is here,” said Debbie Gallaher with Chelan PUD. “Nationally, one-third of utility employees will retire in the next 10 years.”

Hydropower generators in rural areas are being particularly hard hit. Millennials finishing college, technical schools and military duty with the right STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) backgrounds are being gobbled up by the gig, aerospace and high-end manufacturing economy in Seattle and the I-5 corridor.

“What we also know,” said Gallaher, “is that there are high school students growing up in our communities who want to stay and raise a family here.” These are also the students most likely to stay with a utility for several years rather than moving to a large urban area after they get some experience.

Utilities that are part of the Foundation for Water and Energy Education see it as in their enlightened self-interest to make the connection with high-school students early. Said Chuck Allen with Grant County PUD, “High school students in our area need to see what’s behind the concrete curtain of our hydro projects. Careers in engineering, mechanics, and operations are challenging and often leading edge. These are quality-wage jobs available right in their backyard.”

To help high school students better understand careers in hydropower, FWEE has created its annual Hydro STEM Academy, which is June 19 to 23 at Rocky Reach Dam near Wenatchee, Wash.

The academy is open to high school aged students. During the academy, students will explore the physics involved in producing hydropower, the varied rewarding careers in the hydro industry, with hands-on activities and demonstrations.

Click here to see a short video of the 2016 Academy in action. Go to www.fwee.org/academy to learn more.

The deadline for applications for the Academy is May 5.

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