Watts and amps and volts, ohm my! Energy Academy conducts successful career fair

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The 2023 Energy Academy Career Fair was held in late March at Vicksburg High School.

Students from VHS and Warren Central High School had the opportunity to meet with energy sector professionals and show off their own projects from their Energy Academy classes.

James Ross, a Hinds Community College Energy instructor and teaches Vicksburg Warren School District Energy Academy students at the college, said he was pleased with the event’s turnout.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“The fair was great. We all get together, industry and community and the students,” Ross said. “And that’s what it’s all about.”

Ross’s students had several demonstrations set up at their booth, including a wind turbine and an example of an HVAC circuit that allows a thermostat to function. The HVAC circuit sat in a handsome wooden box students made with their woodworking skills, and the electronics were installed by students using the electronic engineering techniques they learned in class.

The booth Ross’s class set up was student-led.

“I do that for two reasons. One: they learn how to talk to people. That’s very important,” Ross said. “Next: you’ve got to have self-confidence. So I get them out there and I’m close by in case they stumble.”

Students presented to visiting representatives from the energy industry, including Entergy, which provides a large portion of the Energy Academy’s funding, and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

The industry experts also had booths and demonstrations set up. Many students used the opportunity to meet and make connections with the experts and get a feel of what it means to work in the energy field.

The Entergy booth had a demonstration that was reportedly a big hit with students. It involved two capacitors hooked up to a large wheel, which when turned, created a bright-blue electric arc that jumped from the capacitor to the wheel.

“(The students) get to meet with all those industries that are there with booths. They get to make contacts, connections (that will help them find) a possible job when they graduate.”

Ross also mentioned that he is very proud of his students’ work ethic.

“Now you hear people say, ‘Oh, it’s hard. People don’t want to work anymore. People don’t want to work anymore,” he said. “My students, all the time, especially the seniors, ask ‘Oh, Mr. Ross, can you help me find a job?’ So they’re ready. And when they come out of this class they can do anything.”

This is the second-annual Energy Academy Career Fair that has been held by the academy. Next year’s event is slated to be held in Port Gibson, whose school district shares the resources of the Energy Academy with VWSD.