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Enota students get lesson in electricity from Ga. Power program

Concept is ‘in-class field trip’

POSTED: November 2, 2012 11:59 p.m.

Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy fifth-graders Emma Kate Park, left, and Grayson Anderson work together Friday to complete a simple circuit with batteries Georgia Power's Learning Power program.

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Angela Haun electrified fifth-grade students at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy Friday in the most literal meaning of the word.

While standing in a circle, students held hands and watched an energy stick light up as Haun explained the difference between open and closed circuits in the flow of electricity.

It was only one of several experiments Haun conducted with students.

As Northeast Georgia’s energy efficiency education coordinator for Georgia Power Company, Haun travels across 20 counties to lead the Learning Power program, which seeks to educate students on energy efficiency and career opportunities in energy and power.

Haun is also responsible for creating the programs and curriculum that make up Learning Power.

“They learn what it means to be energy efficient and why they should be. Many of them are excited to see that there are ways they can help all on their own,” Haun said.

“We are able to relate the learning matter to the field of energy and many of the jobs that are involved. It helps the students to see that there is a reason for learning.”

Kelly Bagwell, fifth-grade teacher at Enota, said the program is a perfect prelude to what her students will be learning in coming weeks.

“This is right on par with fifth-grade standards. We’ll be learning all this in a few months, and they’ll remember when we did this and what they learned from today,” Bagwell said.

According to Haun, this is exactly what the program was designed to do.

“Our most robust programs are for third, fifth and eighth grade because the Georgia standards by which the teachers build their curriculum were a good fit for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects that aligned with our business as well as relating to energy efficiency,” she said. “We make it a point to cover specific standards as we want to be a supportive resource for the teachers in their efforts.”

Although a fairly new program, Haun said that the concept of Learning Power and an “in-class field trip” to educate students on energy efficiency became a priority for Georgia Power in 2010.

After preparing the initial curriculum, Haun and 11 other energy efficiency education coordinators brought the program to schools in fall 2011.

In addition to written activities and hands-on experiments that teach students about circuits, conductors, insulators and electric currents, Haun encourages students to consider careers in energy and power.

“Georgia Power, along with the entire energy industry, will have a strong need for students graduating with interest and skills in the STEM subject matters,” Haun said. “Our population’s need and dependency on electricity and energy is not going anywhere, nor are the careers that support the industry.”


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