Lewis County High School students Thomas Hogan and Joseph Cool earned the highest scores in the nation in their Power and Energy class, which is part of the simulated workplace program.
Hogan graduated in May and Cool is a senior this year.
Teacher Richard Hardman said both Hogan and Cool were offered jobs at the end of the last school year.
They both declined, but the course does offer students an edge in competing for jobs at energy plants or a solid foundation for an engineering degree at a college or university.
The Power and Energy classes are made up of four courses and are sponsored by the Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB). The Power and Energy courses offer students the opportunity to look at different ways of producing electrical energy.
Projects focus primarily on coal fired power plants, but students have also built projects based on hydro electric, solar, natural gas, and wind power.
Each of the four courses are project based, with course one containing six projects, courses two and three containing five, and course four containing four.
Hardman said each project begins with a letter to the students from a company requesting a project.
“The projects are on them [the students]. They do a lot of self discovery,” Hardman said.
SREB gives students guidelines and material lists for projects. Hardman said students have options of building the project to SREB guidelines, or designing their own with their own specifications.
“Sometimes their projects work better,” Hardman said.
The first project they will build this year is a transformer, beginning this week. Students have to research the project, design it, and report on it. A final presentation will be given at the end of the project. People who work in energy fields have come to the class to view final presentations.
Second-year student Jacob Heater said he wants to enter the electrical career after high school. He said last year he wasn’t sure what the class was really about, but loved it, and signed on again this year.
“I’m excited about everything we’ll build, and to see how
everything works,” he said. “It’s interesting.”
Heater also said the course has helped him with his traditional math classes.
“There’s a lot of math [in Power and Energy], but it keeps me interested in what I’m doing,” he added.
Junior Ellie Shiflett came to LCHS last year and because of class scheduling, she ended up in Power and Energy. She loved it so much she signed up for it again this year.
“It’s kind of lame because I love math. We usually build some pretty cool things,” she said.
She stated it usually takes approximately 30 days for each project.