Energy & Safety Education
At River Falls Municipal Utilities, we believe that nothing is as important to the future of the community as our young citizens. We pride ourselves on our commitment to energy and safety education in River Falls. Whether it is through the classroom or the community, we strive to provide a strong network of information to further educate community members about electric and water subjects and how it relates to customers both young and old.
As parts of our ongoing educational efforts, River Falls Municipal Utilities provides educational materials and presentations to schools and service groups. We also provide teaching units, videos, publications and workshops to interested groups all year long.
The following are just a few examples of our energy and safety education tools.
National Theater for Children
Each year, the utility sponsors a live theater show presented by the Minneapolis-based National Theatre for Children (NTC). NTC tours the United States presenting lively, interactive educational shows. NTC dedicates itself to educating young people on important and timely energy-related topics. Coined with printed curriculum materials and teacher guides, their imaginative and customized presentations effectively reach the students, teachers and parents.
The utility provides scholarships for local teachers to attend KEEP, the statewide K-12 Energy Education Program. KEEP is a 16-hour in-service that helps teachers integrate hands-on energy education activities into their classrooms. The program also demonstrates how teachers can use energy education to ensure that their students meet Wisconsin academic standards.
KEEP makes the sometimes-intimidating topic of energy understandable to students of all ages. Second graders can learn about the coal mining process as they find resources in chocolate chip cookies. Middle school students can experiment with properties of motors by modeling an electric motor. High school students can discuss energy futures by studying energy trends and new technologies. The KEEP program is directed through the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
The 8-foot PowerTOWN educational model makes a lasting impression at safety presentations. The crackle of a high voltage electrical arc reinforces electrical safety messages that school-age audiences will not soon forget. This realistic tool demonstrates the effects of:
- Contacting overhead lines by an antenna
- Contacting overhead lines by a kite
- Contacting overhead lines by a metal pipe
- Contacting overhead lines by a tree
- Contacting a padmount transformer
- Energizing a vehicle by a downed overhead line
- Energizing a metal fence by a downed overhead line
- Exploding a pole mount transformer
- Contacting substation transformers
- Contacting overhead line with a sailboat mast
- Contacting underground power cable with a backhoe
- "Call Before You Dig"
This is an excellent way to educate people on hazardous electrical situations, prevention of dangerous situations, and focus awareness on prevention.