Abbott Power Plant: Powerful Learning Begins Here

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  1. Most days, the engineers, mechanics, pipefitters, and steamworkers of Abbott Power Plant operate in the background on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign, ensuring electricity is ready for over 43,000 students and the faculty who teach them. But increasingly, Abbott workers are stepping into the forefront as teachers themselves, helping the community learn about generating and conserving energy.
  2. The staff of Abbott regularly assist with research projects and open their doors to U of I classes, including the newest massively open online course on energy and the environment, "Energy, Environment, and Everyday Life".
  3. Up to 1,000 people visit Abbott in any given year. This includes hundreds of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, middle and high school students, adult education students, legislators, and service groups.
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  5. “Ready?” “Yes” comes the reply, muffled by a blocky mask that covers a mass of braids and barrettes. Pipefitter foreman Jason Hart fires up the torch and helps guide it across two pieces of scrap metal as sparks fly into the air. Muted squeals erupt from under a half-dozen other masks around the table.
  6. “Who wants to go next?” “Me, me, me!” Over the course of a morning, dozens of Girl Scouts will learn about welding first hand from the pipefitters of Abbott.
  7. During the summer, Abbott welcomes students participating in camps like GAMES (Girls' Adventures in Math, Engineering, and Science).
  8. Experiences like these are key for encouraging girls to pursue careers in engineering...
  9. Girls aren't the only ones who need encouragement to pursue careers in engineering. Abbott also opens its doors to students from DREAAM House, an intensive program to support the social-emotional and academic development of young African American males.
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