Baldwin High School collaborates with National Grid


For the first time since pre-pandemic, Baldwin High School students in both the engineering class and STEM/Engineering Academy embarked on a learning excursion at the National Grid Northport Power Station.

At the station, students attended the “Engineering Our Future” seminar organized by Junior Achievement New York.

“The experience at the National Grid power plant is incredibly beneficial for the students,” said Baldwin High School teacher Scott Peritz.

Peritz added, “the students meet engineers from multiple engineering disciplines. For the first time, many students suddenly realize that ‘engineer’ is an umbrella term, and that there are multiple types of engineers, from electrical to civil to industrial to mechanical to environmental, to name but a few. The engineers at the National Grid power plant all start with a single degree in a single discipline, but National Grid supports learning and pays for additional education, and most of the engineers we meet have two or more master’s degrees.”

The sophomores, juniors, and seniors were guided by plant manager Kamona Ayres. After a presentation on how electricity is made and distributed, as well as a presentation about the Northport plant, the students toured the facility.

The aspiring engineers also had the unique opportunity to walk the outside grounds of the plant and see firsthand how National Grid utilizes water from the Long Island Sound.

The students learned how machines designed by engineers remove fish from the intake ports and gently return the marine life back to the Sound.

Following the tour and lunch, the high school students participated in a question-and-answer panel session with at least a dozen engineers, including Brett Houdek, who is the maintenance manager and a Baldwin High School graduate from the class of 1978.

“The image of an engineer that most students have is of a someone at a desk working exclusively at a computer, but most of the engineers we met are in blue jeans, and are hands on, solving problems, inventing parts, and applying new technologies,” Peritz said. At the end of the visit, students have a new vision of engineering, and know why the lights work when they flip a switch.”

“It’s great that students get this opportunity to take their learning outside the classroom,” said Gabriella Franza, assistant director for instruction.

“The Engineering Our Future Seminar allows our students to see the STEM field at work, hear directly from industry professionals, as well as network and ignite new career paths.”


— Ben Fiebert