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Building up “STEAM”

“I liked the way I could turn on the water and turn the turbine on the model to create power,” said Tyler, a 5th grade student at Roebuck Elementary School. Tyler is a STEAM Scholar, and he participates in a program at his school that focuses on collaborative experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math.

The goal of STEAM at Roebuck Elementary is to build a strong foundation for young learners in these important areas. By providing hands-on opportunities, students are encouraged to become engaged in science and technology-related fields. What better way to peak their curiosity than to set up a working hydro power plant inside their classroom?

Regional Utility Services did just that. President and CEO Dan Cothran and Business Development Director Nathan Faulkner brought a working model of a dam to Roebuck Elementary and let the students generate power. Kelseay grasped the key concept, saying she “liked learning how water can be turned into energy.” Her classmate Lorden made the connection between the demonstration and the ultimate result: “I liked how the engineers create simple machines that can be used for big things.”

As students controlled the flow of water, they began to understand how an increase in the water’s pressure turned the turbine faster and generated more power. They also learned about the history of dams and the important part they play in the Southeast. Kaitlyn appreciated the stories of how Regional Utility Services crew members have to think creatively to repair many of the hydro plants. She explained that “the engineers told us about the places they worked and about all of their imagination to make things better.”

Roebuck’s STEAM Program is a Spartanburg School District 6 initiative and part of the national program, “Project Lead the Way.” Roebuck is one of the first “Project Lead the Way” schools in the nation. The school’s core commitments include community involvement and partnerships with local businesses, providing much needed support for the STEAM Program.

Regional Utility services is proud to support a local school that is encouraging students to become electrical engineers and industrial designers. These STEAM scholars will shape the future of our business and our community. Thank you for letting RUS be a part of your STEAM Program, Roebuck Elementary School!