Northern B.C. kids embrace "warmup act" about electrical safety
September 20, 2017
3 min read
WAC Bennett Dam
A version of this story originally appeared on bchydro.com on May 1, 2017
BC Hydro community crew a hit on tour from Fort St. John to Prespatou
What will BC Hydro's community team remember most about a February tour of northeastern B.C.?
A -25°C day that forced sprints to the car between photos. Bus drivers who would wave and smile as you passed. A giant golf ball. Dozens of chainsaw-carved sculptures. Places with names like Buick, Blueberry River and Prespatou.
And above all, wildly enthusiastic elementary school kids who didn't seem to care a bit that a 20-minute talk about electrical safety was standing between them and the wonders of the Science World On the Road Tour.
I'd definitely rather be warming up for Science World than following them," jokes BC Hydro's Vanessa Lo, who was plain blown away by how receptive kids were to safety demonstrations during a circle tour of communities north of Fort St. John that included Prespatou, an agricultural community that blossomed with the arrival of 86 German-speaking Mennonite families from Saskatchewan in 1961.
"I have to say the best audience you ever get, hands down, is the elementary school audience," adds Lo. "They're just so excited about us visiting. When you ask a question you see so many hands going up. When we selected a volunteer at one school, you could just hear a collective "Awwww..." as they put their hands down. The enthusiasm of those children was amazing."
As a member of BC Hydro's community team, Lo usually presents to the public at cultural festivals, tech expos, retail spaces and trade shows. So it was a treat to travel to B.C.'s northeast and get a chance to teach important electrical safety info to kids as part of the BC Hydro-supported Science World tour. Fortunately, teachers across B.C. also have a chance to get in on the act during BC Hydro's third annual Electrical Safety Day on May 17.
On that day, teachers across the province will lead their classes through a 20-minute interactive safety video that covers concepts including:
How electricity travels from a touch point out in circles
Why you need to stay a minimum of 10 metres away (the length of a city transit bus) from a fallen power line