Western Power Circuit Breakers program running in Perth schools

Deanmore Primary School teacher Melinda Carr and Western Power engineer Dona Wijayasinghe with students who took part in the Circuit Breakers program last year.
Deanmore Primary School teacher Melinda Carr and Western Power engineer Dona Wijayasinghe with students who took part in the Circuit Breakers program last year.

WESTERN Power’s Circuit Breakers program is running across the school network for a second year.

The utility is looking for another 20 primary schools to take part in the 10-week STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program.

Deanmore Primary School science teacher Melinda Carr said her class that took part last year benefitted from access to engineering experts and receiving two 3D printers.

“Kids want to know how things work and they pretty much want to know right there and then,” Mrs Carr said.

“Sometimes they throw me a question about science or engineering that I can’t always answer straight away, but having access to Western Power engineers meant we could get answers quickly.

“The 3D printers are a wonderful tool that meant solutions to problems didn’t end once it was written down on a notepad.

“Solutions actually materialised in front of them and became a tangible, touchable outcome.”

Engineer Dona Wijayasinghe said the utility was looking for the ‘thinkers, makers and innovators’ who saw the world differently and wanted to discover ways to bring their ideas to life.

“Children have the same attitudes to problem solving as many engineers, in that they have a real passion to find better ways to do things,” Ms Wijayasinghe said.

“The only difference between me and the students last year, were the tools we use and guidance from experts who helped us get to where we are now.

“Closer to the end of the program they were more like colleagues than students – some of them might even grow up to become engineers.”

Schools can apply to be part of the program for Year 4, 5 and 6 students through the Western Power website until June 22.

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