Fall 2017
News Briefs

'The Genius Tour' Stops at MGE

'The Genius Tour' Stops at MGE

While many middle school students were enjoying traditional summertime activities, a group of nearly 50 area middle school students from Dane County was engaged in career exploration activities at MGE. The campers were part of the annual summer STEAM Camp sponsored by Strang Inc., an architecture, engineering and interior design firm in Madison. STEAM Camp is a weeklong summer program through which students explore careers and career pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. MGE and other science and tech-based companies participate each summer.

While on the MGE campus, students were easy to spot with their T-shirts emblazoned with the image of Albert Einstein, thus the Genius Tour! This was a great opportunity for MGE staff to share with students how they use STEAM principles in their jobs and along their career pathway. During their day at MGE, students:

  • Took the "Kid Wind Challenge" as teams were presented with a limited set of materials and were challenged to build a working wind turbine.
  • Learned about renewable energy and got an up-close look at MGE's Chevy Bolt, the newest all-electric vehicle in MGE's fleet with an estimated battery range of up to 238 miles.
  • Had a behind-the-scenes tour of MGE's Distribution Operations Center, which is MGE's electric and gas control center.
  • Visited Blount Generating Station, MGE's natural gas-fired power plant in downtown Madison.
  • Traveled to MGE's new training center to learn how MGE electric and gas crews repair and maintain critical gas and electric distribution infrastructure. MGE trainers performed natural gas pipe fusion, demonstrated pole climbing techniques and explained how they work safely around high voltage power lines using specialized tools and equipment.

Like all industries, technology is rapidly changing many utility industry jobs. Programs like STEAM are a win-win for students, who are able to explore and prepare for challenging careers, and for employers in need of recruiting qualified employees in the future.