Electricity Education at COMED’s Rockford Training Center Gets a Redesign

ComEd, Northern Illinois’s energy delivery company, has had such an overwhelmingly positive response to its Smart Energy Hub at the Chicago Training Center, that now the Rockford facility is getting a makeover.

Whether you have visited the Rockford facility in the past, or you’re just learning about the field trips offered by ComEd, you’ll want to check out the newly redesigned Smart Energy Hub in Rockford, Illinois. Students in grades K-12 will experience how electricity is delivered safely and learn the basics of electricity through exciting interactive stations and game play. They’ll also get a glimpse into the future of electricity, and the future looks bright!

The education center in Rockford will reopen in October 2016, so book your field trip today by visiting www.FieldTripFactory.com. You can also visit the Smart Energy Hub in Chicago.

Check out what students can explore at either Smart Energy Hub location.

Station #1 – Power Generation and Delivery

Students (and adults) probably haven’t thought much about the electricity in their homes and school, even though they depend on it greatly. Just flip a switch or plug in your device and it is there, right? In this introductory station, students learn just what electricity is, how it is generated, and how it travels from the power plant to the home. There is a lot of good science to explore in this station!

Station #2 – Idea Generation

After learning how electricity is generated, students have the opportunity to generate their own through movement, specifically stationary bicycles and hand cranks. Groups can see just how much electricity they would generate in one minute. Maybe enough to power a cell phone? Then students are asked to think about other ways they might be able to generate electricity.

Station #3 –  The Smart Grid and The Smart Meter

Communities are becoming smarter – and it is not just your students – even the way electricity is delivered to homes, schools, and businesses is becoming more efficient and reliable. Students use an interactive screen to create their own smart grid and learn about this impressive technology that will definitely shape how we use energy in the future.

Station #4 – Energy Management at Home

There are several tips and tricks we should all consider to reduce the amount of electricity we use. Through a game format, students explore a section of a home to find the appliances and devices that correctly answer the questions that are posed to them. Along the way they may pick up a tip or two about energy efficiency and why it is important to make sure the refrigerator door is completely closed!

Station #5 – Safety and Service

This is probably the most interesting and important station in the Hub. Here students can look out at the actual training center through a large window where overhead electricians climb poles, learn to safely use their tools, and practice rescue operations. Even when ComEd workers aren’t training it is pretty impressive to see all of the equipment in the training center. Students get to try on some of the equipment that keep overhead electricians safe. Once you hold their tool belt and gloves, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the men and women that climb the tall utility poles in all kinds of conditions. Most importantly students will walk away with rules for acting responsibly around electricity.

Station #6 – The Community of the Future

In this station, students travel through time to explore a community in the future. They’ll see how the technologies being employed today will only advance and improve our lives years from now. It is sure to inspire students who will be working with these smart technologies within their lifetimes.

Field trips are open to grades K-12 and last approximately 90 minutes long, depending on the age and size of the group. You and your students will be electrified by the new education center, so be sure to visit the Smart Energy Hub program page on the Field Trip Factory website for more information and to book your trip today!

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