Seattle City Light Hosts Third STEAM in Power Workshop

Students watch a City Light presentation
SPIN Girls students watch a presentation from Haley Coutts and Chris Armstrong

On Saturday, April 23, Seattle City Light hosted 16 eighth-grade young women and their mentors from SPIN Girls for the third ever STEAM in Power Workshop.  

SPIN Girls is a program of STEM Paths Innovation Network (SPIN), a Seattle non-profit dedicated to creating equity and opportunities for youth to succeed in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) fields.    

City Light’s Chris Armstrong, internal communications advisor, and Haley Coutts, electrical engineering assistant engineer, teamed up with SPIN Girls to provide an interactive and informative event, introducing a variety of STEAM-related roles within a public power utility and the women at City Light in those roles. 

With our last workshop being virtual due to the pandemic, everyone was thrilled to be safely back in person for a hands-on experience at City Light’s South Service Center.  

The event began with an introduction to the utility and our mission. Students were given a crash course on electricity and learned how City Light generates power, restores services and keeps safety at the forefront for all employees. 

Students then embarked on an interactive tour of the South Service Center, including stops at the facility’s shops, apprenticeships lab, utility vehicle dock, and our public electric vehicle charging station across the street. Along the way, students saw the tools and equipment for restoring power, recharged an electric vehicle, discovered the journey of apprentices, and even got to hop aboard a bucket truck!  

Shops Coordinator Sheri Rice, who led one of the tour groups, knows the importance of exposing young people to a variety of careers, saying “The opportunities are vast. Don’t be afraid to try something new and challenge yourself.” 

Penny Friedrichsen, program associate at SPIN Girls, said “At SPIN, Field Days like this one are focused on our youth to create their own sense of aspirations. Seattle City Light was a wonderful host who exposed our students to a wide breadth of topics, including innovation, energy sources, safety and environmental health, and their stellar apprenticeship program. They operate with Seattleites at heart. Our students were curious and asked questions, had fun exploring the vast array of equipment, and left amazed by the different technology and career paths.” 

Thank you to our SPIN Girls partners Jaira Murphy and Penny Friedrichsen, the students and mentors, and City Light staff who joined us for another successful event!