JULY 15, 2019 — TVA’s Allen Combined Cycle Natural Gas Plant in South Memphis recently opened its doors to summer campers from T.O. Fuller State Park for a tour and discussion. The group of interns, ages 16 to 18, capped their six-week summer experience with a trip to the Plant to learn more about TVA, energy conservation, the environment and potential careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Plant Manager Dave Skelskey kicked off the day with a welcome to the group. “It’s very important for us to stress the fact that STEM skills are key to preparing yourself for the future workforce,” he said, “and TVA is always looking for technology and engineering professionals with all types of educational backgrounds to keep TVA moving into the future.”
Combined Cycle Operations Technician Jesse Kriwox led the tour but – before gearing up with hard hats and goggles — Kriwox shared a list of vocabulary words, like cooling tower, gas turbine and control room. This learning-by-association method allowed campers to better understand how TVA works to produce reliable, low-cost power.
Recent Mitchell High School graduate, 18-year-old Michael Foster said educational experiences like this one help teens now and far into the future. “The tour was really good, and the plant was a good place for us to learn how the utility industry works,” he said. “I think it will help us find careers and explore what we can do in life.”
Following the tour, TVA-Memphis Executive Director Mark Creech answered students’ questions and encouraged them to take advantage of every opportunity. “It’s not every day that students get to experience a power plant like this one, so the question is, ‘What will you do when you walk out of this facility today?’ The challenge now becomes taking your career goals and researching how you can make them your reality,” he said.
O. Fuller State Park Director of Conservation and Consequences Susan Black helped to coordinate the field trip, which she later described as very beneficial for students. “We just thank TVA for caring!” she commented.