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ATC teams up for STEM education and careers
The regular college basketball season has wrapped up and as March Madness is underway, we take a moment to look back on a successful Steals for STEM season with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee women’s basketball teams. As part of the partnership, ATC supports STEM programs in our footprint. Here are some of this year’s highlights.
UWM School Day participation
As a presenting partner at UWM Panthers women’s basketball with our Steals for STEM program, ATC engaged in a fun STEM activity with elementary and middle schoolers at UWM’s ‘School Day’ game at the university’s Klotsche Center on Friday, Jan. 20.
MAS partnership opportunities abound
Milwaukee Academy of Science and ATC partner to provide MAS scholars opportunities to learn, play and develop the knowledge and skills for lifelong success. Employees presented at the inaugural MAS Middle and High School Career Expo in spring 2022. Additionally, the school indicated the need for a fence to enclose an area on the school grounds so it could be used safely for recess and outdoor learning for students. ATC answered the need with the funding necessary to complete the fence and it was installed in the summer of 2022.
Henderson Elementary FAB Lab
Madison’s Dr. Virginia Henderson Elementary FAB Lab is a place for students to get excited about learning. FAB stands for Fostering Active Brains. In the FAB Lab, students extend their understanding of concepts they are learning in other parts of their school day through hands-on, open-ended, student-led activities in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. ATC donated $500 to the Henderson FAB Lab to purchase an iPad to run Wonder Workshop robots to help students learn about coding.
Employees provide B.U.I.L.D. 44199 First Lego team support
When a middle school student from Pilgrim Park Middle School in Elm Grove, Wis., reached out to ATC to ask for a speaker to help with her First Lego team project, several employees enthusiastically volunteered. The First Lego team, B.U.I.L.D 44199, was tasked with exploring energy sources, storage, distribution and usage, a perfect subject for our ATC experts. We recently learned that the team was chosen as the top team in Wisconsin and is headed to Houston in April to compete in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge World Festival.
Fairview Computer Science Week presentation
During Wisconsin’s Computer Science Week in December 2022, ATC spoke with Milwaukee Public Schools’ Fairview School’s fifth and eighth graders about the importance of cybersecurity and its role in protecting ATC. Students learned from one of our cyber experts that one of the most important steps we should take to improve our cybersecurity is to create strong passwords.
Future City Competition judging
This winter, ATC employees participated as essay and project judges in the Wisconsin Regional Future City Competition. The annual competition is a project-based learning activity that introduces middle school students to project management and the engineering design process.
Woodland Elementary STEM night
In January, ATC employees created activities to teach students about ATC in the Woodland Elementary STEM Night in Kingsford, Mich. About 300 kindergarten through fourth grade students and 500 parents attended the event. ATC was one of 16 local businesses to participate in the fun and educational event.
Dane County Future Quest
ATC employees enjoyed volunteering at the Dane County FutureQuest expo in November at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. The event hosted about 4,500 middle school students from the area to learn about jobs at different companies through interactive activities.
Support for Cristo Rey Jesuit High School students and alums
For the fifth year, we employed work-study students from Milwaukee’s Cristo Rey Jesuit High School to enable them to earn a portion of their educational costs and gain work experience. In 2022, ATC employees also attended the first career fair for school alumni to talk about career options at our company, review resumes and reconnect with former ATC interns.
College internships lead to industry careers
ATC welcomed 14 college interns to learn and work both remotely and in person in 2022. By working alongside our full-time employees, the students learned about our industry, company and corporate culture. ATC also hired four former interns for roles within the company.
Michigan Tech University Summer Youth Program support
This summer, ATC is sending six students from traditionally underrepresented groups to attend the Engineering Scholars summer youth program at Michigan Tech University. The program provides an opportunity for students to investigate careers in engineering and science. Two students each will attend from Milwaukee Academy of Science, Green Bay West High School and the Maydm organization in Madison, Wis.
We are proud of our support for STEM education and our partnerships with women’s Badger, Phoenix and Panther volleyball and basketball bring greater focus to STEM opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups at our company.
If you’re interested in a challenging and exciting career in a STEM related field, check out all that ATC has to offer on our careers page.
ATC employees volunteer to judge Future City Competition
American Transmission Co. employees participated as judges in the annual Wisconsin Regional Future City Competition hosted by STEM Forward. Students from 49 teams representing 21 schools across Wisconsin competed in this year’s event.
Future City is a project-based learning program where students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades imagine, research, design and build cities of the future. Each city must provide a solution to a design challenge. This year’s challenge asked teams to design a waste-free city using the principles of a circular economy based on three design principles: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials at their highest value, and regenerate nature. The challenge reinforced a transition to renewable energy and materials, perfect for ATC’s employee volunteers to consider when judging.
The competition required each team to produce a 1,500-word essay, scale model of their city built with recycled materials, a project plan, a short video presentation and a live, online interview session with a panel of technical judges. Five employees participated as judges spanning each section of the competition.
ATC employees Devonne Wilhoit, senior data analytics project manager, and Cerise Reed, senior desktop administrator, participated as judges for the special Project Planning Award, sponsored by the Project Management Institute. Wilhoit said, “It’s impressive to see kids at this age thinking about things that are career related and how they are putting project management skills, such as scope, schedule and cost, into action.” The city that was selected for the Project Planning Award was Project X created by the team from Chilton Area Catholic School.
Lanida Chang, consultant strategy and initiative manager, volunteered to judge team essays, videos and the interview sessions. She was impressed by the cities designed, caliber of presentations and noted, “Most, if not all of the teams were using renewable energy: wind, solar, hydro, and even steam from a volcano to power their cities. Many also mentioned battery storage. One team had a windmill as their required moving part. It was pretty cool to see middle school students with an awareness and understanding of what energy production and storage look like.”
“STEM Forward is thrilled to host the Wisconsin Regional Future City Competition each year,” said Heather Dummer Combs, STEM Forward program manager. “It is our hope that participation in this amazing program sparks an interest in STEM for middle school students and perhaps pursuit of a STEM career. We truly cannot do this without the dedicated STEM professionals that volunteer their time to mentor or judge the teams’ future cities.”
We are proud of our employees’ commitment to help provide that spark of interest in STEM careers for students involved in the competition and congratulate all the winning Wisconsin teams. Glen Hills Middle School was the overall winner and will compete at the Future City Finals on April 7, 2022, with other regional team winners from all over the world.
Congratulations to Glen Hills Middle School and good luck in the Finals!
ATC brings home a Soup-er Bowl win!
While we could not hold our annual in-person soup and chili tasting Soup-er Bowl fundraiser event this year, American Transmission Co. employees were able to stir up some much-needed funds for food with a virtual event.
Here’s the play: we set up three different online giving events to support food banks throughout ATC’s footprint:
- Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin
- Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin
- Feeding America West Michigan
Employees could choose one or donate to all three.
To make the event as tasty as possible, ATC committed to match employee donations to the Soup-er Bowl.
It was a game of inches, and our employees really stepped up their game to win the company match. Together we raised $2,210, which means we are providing approximately 6,630 meals to our community members in need.
Way to go ATC, we appreciate our employees who contributed to this amazing team effort!
Village of Bristol establishes native oak savannah with help from ATC
The Village of Bristol removed invasive vegetation and planted nearly 50 native oak trees in the new Bristol Bay Park this summer. The trees planted were a mix of six different types of oak trees.
The effort was funded with a $5,000 grant from American Transmission Co.’s Community Planting Program that was matched by the Village. When Bristol Bay Park is fully developed, it will be a 37-acre natural area park with an oak savanna along its walking trails.
Once common in the Midwest, forming a boundary between prairies and forests, oak savannas are now one of the rarest ecosystems on earth. The openness of an oak savanna, with large trees growing far apart, enables numerous types of native prairie plants to grow. That openness is usually maintained by fire, as oaks are a fire resistant tree species. The Village plans to conduct periodic controlled burns to maintain the savanna.
ATC’s Community Planting Program enables us to encourage and support communities to plant trees and vegetation that beautify the landscape in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system.
The Program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property, outside transmission line rights-of-way. Program funds can be used to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation. Since 2013, ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000.
ATC accepts applications from July 1 through Sept. 30, and award recipients are selected and notified by the end of the year. Awards range from $100 to $5,000. Additional information and program applications can be found at atc-GrowSmart.com