Some Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Colorado youth and mentors were literally shocked while learning about the electrifying world of energy Aug. 11.
Several Western Area Power Administration employees volunteered their time to provide participants with an understanding about how electricity travels from where it is generated to homes and businesses. “Watching participants learn new things about electricity and energy; and seeing them connect with how they can make simple choices that conserve energy is exciting,” said Energy Services Equipment Loan Program Manager Gary Hoffmann.
In just a little more than two hours, participants learn about money and energy-saving tips for their homes as well as for industry buildings; and took some time to investigate fuel-cell technology, understand different lighting options and ‘see’ heat using an infrared camera. They also had the opportunity to see a Tesla Coil and watch a fluorescent lamp light up in their hands.
One highlight of the event was the Van de Graaff generator where youth and mentors learned about static electricity and had the opportunity to share the electric charge and shock each other. Through the fun, hands-on event, participants learned first-hand how electricity works, its uses and also its dangers.
“We were all very excited about the success of the day. The kids and mentors loved learning about electricity in a hands-on way and were amazed by the various tools and toys Western shared,” added Program and Fund Development Intern Laura Newman, who organized the event. “Many of the kids left the event, infrared pictures of their match [mentor and youth] in hand, discussing how to do more and learn more about energy and science. Every match said they were interested in participating in more events like this.”
In the end, participants walked away charged up and ready to save energy. Some of those solutions include:
- Turn off appliances when you’re not using them, including lights, computers, gaming consoles, TVs and radios.
- Unplug chargers when not in use—charging devices can draw power even when they aren’t attached to a battery.
- Close the refrigerator door quickly after you find a snack.
- Keep doors, windows and curtains closed on very hot and very cold days.
- Dress for the weather.
- Set your thermostat at 78 degrees in the summer and no higher than 68 degrees in the winter.
- Seal leaks around windows, doors and heating ducts.
- Air-dry clothes.