More than just an energy cooperative, Duck River Electric Membership Cooperative is dedicated to educating area students on the science behind electricity and how to stay safe from an electrical current.
DREMC recently visited Westwood Elementary School, Westwood Middle School and Coffee County’s Hickerson Elementary School.
At WES, about 80 fourth graders learned about the basics of electricity with DREMC’s Experiments with Electricity program.
“The program offers hands-on learning with 6-volt batteries, copper wire and 6-volt light bulbs,” said Gina Warren, DREMC’s communications and community relations coordinator, in an email. “The basic electric circuit is used to demonstrate open and closed circuits, what materials test as insulators and conductors and how electric switches work.”
Westwood Elementary and other schools incorporate the electric program with their curriculum to help support both science classes and STEM education, Warren said.
“Ms. Warren provided a wonderful, hands-on presentation where students were able to learn about and understand electricity,” said fourth grade WES teacher Misty Crosslin. “Electricity plays an important role in our everyday lives and this was a great experience. Students especially enjoyed creating circuits.”
Hickerson students received the same presentation and the younger students watched a “Louie the Lighting Bug” safety video and participated in coloring contest. Altogether, about 230 Hickerson students were present for Warren’s and DREMC’s Brad Vincent’s demonstrations.
Westwood Middle School got a different presentation.
“We invited them over to help shed some light to our students about some of the electrical hazards surrounding their homes and community they may not be aware of such as throwing things near the wires to your home, carrying ladders near that same wire, and the hazards of playing around the electrical equipment such as the meter,” said WMS sixth grade teacher Laura Freeze.
“I feel like the most useful of the demonstrations was how to exit a vehicle or react to an accident involving electrical wires,” she explained. “You should open your car door and jump as far away from the electricity and your car as possible. Also you shouldn’t attempt to get someone out of a car or bus around downed power lines. You should wait for DREMC or the power company to handle the lines before you attempt contact with the vehicle.
“I felt the presentation was very informative and useful to our students and really to anyone that could have the opportunity to see the demonstrations. They offer many different presentations to all age groups of students,” Freeze concluded.
About 120 WMS students, grades sixth through eighth, attended the demonstration.
Warren presented the Experiments with Electricity program to over 1,400 elementary and middle school students across the cooperative’s service area.