Electricity’s awesome power captures the attention of science students

Tuesday 28 February 2017

A group of eager science students from across Australia has been shown the spectacular power of electricity flowing through ActewAGL’s network in the ACT. The 14 students toured the Energy Network’s infrastructure and control room during the ANU National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) in January.

Focussing on STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – NYSF exposes students to a range of organisations and people who work in science-based careers. The ActewAGL electricity network was a huge curiosity factor for the students in the Engineer Group during their scientific discovery of the Capital.

The students were given an update on system maintenance, planning and augmentation, followed by some spectacular videos of electrical apparatus catching fire and exploding to demonstrate the power in the network. They also donned hard hats and high-vis vests to tour an in-service zone substation and were given VIP access to the Control Room to see the network in action. 

17-year-old Kendra Schmid from Geelong in Victoria was particularly interested in the nitty-gritty of keeping an electricity network safe and reliable for crews and the community. “My dad, his brother and my brother are all linesmen, and Dad has come up from Victoria and worked with ActewAGL a couple of times,” said Kendra.

“I think it’s really cool to know the engineering behind my brother and my dad’s work. I feel I now have more of a personal connection with them when they talk about their work because I understand what’s happening behind the scenes with the transformers and all that stuff, which I find more interesting.”

But a career in Distribution is not on the cards for this Year 11 student. “I’m really split between some kind of marine science and something similar to biomedical engineering. So at this stage I’m looking at doing a double degree in Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering and seeing where that takes me,” said Kendra.

But for now, Kendra was happy to be accepted into the NYSF and to check out Canberra for the first time, which she declared to be “really cool”.

Students taking photos of the ActewAGL electricity network control system during the NYSF in Canberra.

17-year-old Geelong student Kendra Schmid and her fellow students from across Australia get a close up view of the ActewAGL electricity network control system during the NYSF in Canberra.

Photo captions: 

  1. 17-year-old Geelong student Kendra Schmid and her fellow students from across Australia get a close up view of the ActewAGL electricity network control system during the NYSF in Canberra. 
  2. Students taking photos of the ActewAGL electricity network control system during the NYSF in Canberra.

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