Getting Smart About Energy

Everyone knows we need electricity to run our myriad devices, appliances and equipment, but do your students know how the electricity gets to our homes, schools, and businesses? A great place to learn about electricity is at one of the two ComEd Smart Energy Hubs. Located in Chicago and Rockford, IL, more than 5,000 students have visited the two Hubs this year alone. STEM teachers around the Midwest have appreciated the hands-on activities students engage in to truly understand how electricity is generated and how ComEd safely and reliably delivers electricity.

Students and adults alike will have a new appreciation for the dangerous work the overhead electricians do after visiting these two training centers, and they’ll experience how science and technology affect our everyday lives. If your teaching a unit on electricity, this is a great addition to your lesson plans!

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

Station #1 – Power Generation and Delivery

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 can generate their own through movement, specifically stationary bicycles and hand cranks. Groups can see just how much electricity they would generate in one minute. While students take a break from generating electricity, they are asked to think about other ways they could generate electricity.

Station #3 –  The Smart Grid and The Smart Meter

The way electricity is delivered to homes, schools, and businesses is becoming more efficient and reliable – smarter, really. At this station, students use an interactive screen to learn about smart grid technology and arrange their own smart grid. Smart technologies will definitely shape how we use energy in the future.

Station #4 – Energy Management at Home

The name of the game is energy conservation. Students play a game in a model section of a home to learn about ways they can reduce the amount of energy they use. Along the way students 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

ComEd is dedicated to safety and service. Overhead electricians go through hours and hours of training before working in our communities. At the Hub 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. Students can try on some of the equipment that keep overhead electricians safe. They’ll be amazed what these men and women wear while climbing 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 to 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 two education centers, 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!

Leave a Reply