Electrical Connection salutes students excelling in STEM subjects

BROOKLINN LIESMANN, of Orchard Farm High School, (left) is congratulated for her achievements in STEM education by BoardPaq CEO Randy Schilling (center) and Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection (shaking Brooklinn’s hand). – Compass Communications photo

St. Charles, MO – A smart infrastructure is taking shape, redefining next generation electrical and communications installations and the skilled workforce to engineer and build it.

The Electrical Connection – a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) – a leader in the field that has worked to energize STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) co-sponsored the annual STEM Celebration Breakfast earlier this month presented by EDC Business & Community Partners at Piazza Messina in Cottleville, Mo.

The 10th annual salute recognized 22 St. Charles County high school students who excel in STEM subjects.

“Smart infrastructure, including smart cities, smart buildings and smart homes define ever more complex electrical and communications installations that our IBEW/NECA partners excel in delivering,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president of the Electrical Connection.

“By embedding technology in our real estate assets, builders, facility managers and governments gain greater understanding of how those assets are performing. This in turn creates better decision making in how we design, operate and maintain them. We salute these STEM achievers because STEM education is absolutely critical to our industry investment in workforce development to advance smart technology and more.”

IBEW and NECA invest more than $3 million annually in training at the award winning IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center at 2300 Hampton Ave. in St. Louis.

DENNIS GRALIKE, director, IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center, engaged in a panel discussion on career development at the annual STEM Celebration Breakfast. – Compass Communications photo

For more than 75 years, the training center has produced more highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians than any other education program in Missouri. It features a five-year, 10,000-hour education program that is industry funded at no taxpayer expense. Its apprentices are instructed free of charge and have opportunities to earn a living while they learn the electrical trade.

“A strong foundation in STEM education is essential to complete our robust curriculum that will ultimately prepare our skilled and safe workforce to engineer and install not only smart infrastructure, but advanced manufacturing, data centers, integrated communications, renewable energy and more,” said Dennis Gralike, director of the Training Center. Gralike was part of a panel discussion on career development at the event.

During the salute to students, Curran announced that through the Electrical Connection’s partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals, students and school officials will be treated to a special behind-the-scenes look at how STEM education is applied to running the storied baseball franchise. At a future date, they will be invited to Busch Stadium to hear from team officials in several departments about how they apply STEM subjects. The learning session will include a luncheon co-sponsored by the Electrical Connection.

The St. Charles County high school students honored at this year’s STEM breakfast include:

  • Zeke Emerick, Lutheran High
  • Luke McNeil, Christian High
  • Margaret White, Duchesne High
  • Amina Islam, St. Dominic High
  • Brendan Martin-Hilker, St. Charles High
  • Nicholas Schmitz, St. Charles West High
  • David Yang, Francis Howell High
  • Hannah RodeCap, Francis Howell Central High
  • Kevin Tran, Francis Howell North High
  • Brooklinn Liesmann, Orchard Farm High
  • Mahima Shahrawat, Ft. Zumwalt East High
  • Taylor Pachke, Ft. Zumwalt North High
  • Mitual Atul Pandya, Ft. Zumwalt West High
  • Aravind Kalathil, Ft. Zumwalt South High
  • Ian Deal, Wentzville Holt High
  • Michael Coyle, Wentzville Liberty High
  • Nate Beattie, Wentzville Timberland High
  • Eric Reininger, Lewis & Clark Career Center

Students honored in the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) Program include:

  • Chris Morell
  • Allana Guffey
  • Mikayla Bowman
  • Colten Smith

The STEM breakfast is one of several educational initiatives support by the Electrical Connection. Others include partnerships with the FIRST Robotics, the Saint Louis Science Center, Missouri Energy Initiative (MEI), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and more.

The STEM Celebration Breakfast and panel discussion was held Friday, March 1 at the Piazza Messina in Cottleville, Mo.

Electrical Connection members provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. For more information visit electricalconnection.org.

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