FortisAlberta has partnered with Stony Plain’s Multicultural Heritage Centre to deliver an electrical safety education program to more than 5,000 students across the province, including those in Airdrie.
FortisAlberta put on two presentations at Our Lady Queen of Peace School on Oct. 6.
The Centre’s safety programmer, Jeanette Smith, created the program for Grade 5 students, who study electricity in their science curriculum.
“Jeanette has a wonderful rapport with teachers and children. She helps us build more awareness for electrical safety. We have to get kids to play safely today, and think about working safely tomorrow,” said Kate George, FortisAlberta community investment advisor.
Smith travels to schools to present a 90-minute electrical safety program that begins with a quick explanation of the dangers and the wonders of electricity, and then moves to a Hazard Board demonstration – an electrical board that simulates everyday scenarios when people could contact electricity.
Our Lady Queen of Peace principal Michael Panic said he was impressed with the set up.
“It is a really good program for the kids,” said Panic.
Loud zaps and jolts created a stir and lasting impression among students. The program ended with an interactive game created by the duo called “Zap!” The game challenges two teams, the Power Plugs and the Power Poles, to reach the finish line first on a game board.
“I was so impressed by how informative and engaging it was for the students,” said Grade 5 teacher Sonya Dusevic.
“It touched on the curriculum and reiterated some of the messages kids need to hear about electrical safety. The presenters had an educational background and really connected with the kids.”
Dusevic said the program makes FortisAlberta stand out in the community.
“It really gets them out there and shows that they are a leader in education and community involvement,” she said.
She encouraged other schools to take part in the program.
“If you have the opportunity to bring this into your school, you would be remiss if you didn’t,” she said, adding that the program has been running at Our Lady Queen of Peace for five or six years.
“I would highly recommend it because they teach these things in a very effective way.”
Each day in Alberta, three people contact either overhead or underground power lines, putting themselves at risk for serious injury or death.
George said that statistic is why FortisAlberta stepped up its public safety advertising and education campaigns.
Anyone interested in ZAP can call the Multicultural Heritage Centre at 780-963-2777 or email [email protected]