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Cottage Lane Elementary Students Get a Science Lesson from the Experts

Over 100 elementary school students received an up-close education in energy when two Orange & Rockland (O&R) engineers took part in the Cottage Lane Elementary School’s outdoor education day last week in Blauvelt.

The aim of the event, which has been held annually for the past 11 years, is to help students understand their local environment and learn how to be good stewards of the natural resources all around them.

“The best way to help our students learn is to be out in the environment hearing from experts who do the work themselves,” said Jacob Tanenbaum, a science and computer technology teacher. He coordinates the event each June at Cottage Lane Elementary.

The students rotated between stations of volunteers from organizations that work within the community including Suez Water, Keep Rockland Beautiful, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, the Riverkeeper and O&R. 

“It’s so rewarding to see these students engaged and asking questions on how electricity gets to their homes,” said Substation and Transmission Principal Engineer Anny Thomas. She was joined by fellow Principal Engineer Doug Moscato as well as Marketing Specialist and Outreach Coordinator Nikki Dube for the event.

Thomas and Moscato walked the students through the power delivery process from generation through delivery as well as how traditional power systems may differ from renewable systems in the future. Students saw a model substation and transmission tower and were able to hold several prop underground and overhead cables.

“I love volunteering at school events,” said Moscato, who has volunteered at similar STEM programs for the past 15 years. “The students never cease to amaze me with their knowledge, and their curiosity.”

Thomas, who joked with students about the difference between electric transformers and the movie series “Transformers,” shared another reason why she feels the need to attend outreach events like these.

“As a female engineer, I want the younger generation of women to know that engineering is not only for men – if I can do it, so can they.”

About Orange & Rockland

Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, is a regulated utility. O&R provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company) and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.