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Denver students explore energy careers


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LAKEWOOD, Colorado - Denver middle school students created, transported and distributed electricity on an actual Miniature Power System, owned and operated by Western Area Power Administration. Bear Valley International School, part of Denver Public Schools, visited WAPA's Electric Power Training Center, or EPTC, for two days of hands-on learning about the energy industry and how electricity powers the world around them.

Students learned the history of primary electrical discoveries during the 1700s and 1800s from Craft Training Coordinator Bob Larsen. Larsen shared his appreciation of Benjamin Franklin, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell and many others and had several hands-on demonstration items including antiques and replicas.

"It was exciting for me to see these young minds eager and anxious to have a chance to see and do what we do," said EPTC Manager Kyle Conroy. "It was even more exciting when several of the students asked, 'How can I get a job like that?'"

Conroy demonstrated how the power grid operates. He had the students work an actual Miniature Power System, which demonstrated how electricity is created, transmitted and distributed to the public. The students took turns in different roles operating the system and saw how different events affected the ability to get power to customers and households.

"They were polite, receptive and focused and they had great questions," said Larsen. "I had so much fun working with them that I am looking forward to working more with students in the future."​

The event was a part of the CareerSpark Middle School Exploration program. Hands-on tours such as this one provide the critical first point of real-world exposure to DPS students interested in STEM fields such as engineering, technology, advanced manufacturing, biomedicine and finance.


About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable power from 57​ federal hydroelectric power plants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at

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