PHS energy upgrades offer lessons to students

Honeywell tour offers students an up-close look at PHS energy upgrades
Posted on 05/23/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Honeywell tour offers students an up-close look at PHS energy upgradesPiscataway High School engineering and science students took a field trip on May 22 – in their own building.

Honeywell engineers brought the students to parts of the PHS buildings they have never seen before to show upgrades made under the district's Energy Savings Improvement Plan. Students toured the boiler rooms in the Anthony and Patton buildings, where they saw new, high-end equipment to heat and cool the school.

Their tour guides also showed them new lighting, fans, insulation, and thermostats all around the high school, explaining how they work and why they are an improvement over previous equipment. They also pointed out solar panels and other rooftop equipment from the ground and from a door from the boiler room.

The Honeywell Engineers – Tim Laverick, Wayne Leahy, and Ian Hanley – started out by sharing with the students their background and education as engineers. They also provided students with a construction progress report with before-and-after photos and details specific to the high school.

students looking at energy report

“These engineering students recently studied topics such as mechanical-systems efficiency and solar-energy conversion,” said Robyn Kay, PHS chair of Career and Technical Education. “Being able to participate in this tour of their own school with actual engineers brought the topics they’re studying to life in a very authentic way.”

PHS is one of four Piscataway schools to gain 2023 Energy Star status from the US Environmental Protection Agency for energy efficiency, in large part due to the Energy Savings Improvement Plan.

teacher and students in boiler room

Honeywell representatives worked with Kay, Piscataway Business Administrator David Oliveira, PHS Science Chair Jessica Pritchard, and numerous teachers to make the tours a success.

"Students in some of our science and engineering classes had an excellent time learning from representatives of the very company that is currently making energy improvements for our whole district," Pritchard said. "The students were extremely curious, asking questions about the calculations needed to determine efficiency and really engaging with the information, even connecting concepts from physics class to the conversation.

"It is sure to be an experience that the students will always remember."