Murphy Power Board and 4-H Teaching Youth About Electricity

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Students in the 4th grade at Murphy Elementary School have been studying electricity in Leanne Cook’s science class. Students have made light bulbs light up using aluminum foil and made a working compass with a sewing needle, a bowl of water, a Styrofoam disc, and a magnet. These and many other hands on experiences have been brought into the classroom by 4-H Agent, Shannon Coleman. All these experiments have been leading up to two events that students have been waiting for: the first event happened today, March 2, when all of the 4th grade students were visited by 3 crew members and some heavy duty equipment from Murphy Electric Power Board. The second event will be happening in two weeks when the student will get to make their own small electric motor.

The three employees that visited the school were John Hall, Andrew Westmoreland, and TJ Dockery. They were overwhelmed with questions from the seventy, 4th grade students. The students listened and learned about the jobs they perform and the safety equipment they use on a daily basis while on the job. Students ask about training and learned about how some of the equipment works that was on the trucks they brought for demonstrations. Each of the crew members answered questions and spoke about different parts of their job. This is the second year that Murphy Electric Power Board has sent out some of their crew to help the students in their study of electricity and it definitely makes and impact on their learning to get the experience of seeing the equipment not just reading or hearing about it from the teacher.

The 4-H activities the students have been doing are part of the 4-H Electric Project’s, school enrichment program. The students also have studied magnets and how magnetism is connected to electricity. They have learned where their power comes from in our area and how simple circuits work. The students last hands on project will be to build an electromagnetic motor. They will make a rotor out of enamel coated wire and make it spin using a magnet, a D cell battery, and some copper wire. This is the one activity that the students will get to make and take home with them as their final electricity lab.

We want to give a huge thank you to Chris Henson with Murphy Electric Power Board for working with the 4-H office to set this up and to the great crew members, John Hall, Andrew Westmoreland, and TJ Dockery, for coming out and answering tons of questions and being such good teachers today.