Students receive hands-on experience at Ranchos (November 17, 2015)

Ana Martinez and Paul Toscano may only be in 11th grade, but these Apple Valley Unified School District students have already made their debut as skilled professionals in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Toscano and Martinez, both juniors in Granite Hills High School’s SCADA program, were handpicked to participate in a coveted 10-week internship with Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company by a team of teachers at GHHS, district officials said last week. The students were selected based on their work ethic and understanding of SCADA systems.

Over a 10-week period, both students each logged approximately 100 hours of hands-on work experience, officials announced. The students have had the opportunity to work with Apple Valley Ranchos’ state-of-the-art SCADA system, monitor panels and participate in the same processes as the site’s employees.

Martinez and Toscano worked directly under the supervision of Mark Beppu, AVR Control and Instrumentation Technician.

Usually, I just show them once and let them go, Beppu said. The interns were heavily involved in well site panel testing and maintenance, tank float installation and wiring, back haul radio link panel wiring, wireless radio configuration and testing. They also accompanied me to our panel shop to test the wiring on a new panel build.

Both students said they’d like to apply what they have learned through SCADA in college, after they graduate from Granite Hills High School in 2017.

Martinez plans to study engineering and Toscano would like to study mechanics.

This is something that I’m going to keep with me forever, Martinez said in a written statement. Seeing how SCADA actually functions in the real world, not just in the classroom, has given it more meaning to me than it did before.

Toscano added that the internship taught him of the value of work ethic and integrity.

Before (the internship), I would just think that it would be your attendance and your behavior, but now I realize that work ethic and priorities are very important too, he said.

The internship has not only given the students SCADA-specific experience, but has also taught them important soft-skills that can be applied to any career field. Prior to the start of the internship, both students completed the entire hiring process with the company including a full course in safety. Toscano explained that while tasks are important, the company has taught him that nothing is more important than taking care of people.

Martinez and Toscano completed the internship on Nov. 4.

We are very proud of our interns, Terri Brown, GHHS SCADA coordinator, said. We have a high standard at Granite Hills High School and these students have met that standard.

Apple Valley Ranchos has been a supporter of the SCADA program since its inception, but this was the first year that they have offered student internship opportunities. Ranchos officials said the company plans to continue to offer internship opportunities each semester.

Source: Apple Valley Review,