Anyone over the age of 35 may remember Louie the Lightning Bug commercials during Saturday morning cartoons.
The animated, four-armed beetle with a light bulb for a bottom is still singing about electrical safety as part of Georgia Power’s electrical safety program called PowerTOWN.
On Thursday, Louie brought his musical wisdom and his human friends, Brad Beckworth and David Kelly, to fifth-grade pupils at Norris Elementary School to teach them about safety around power lines.
The program included a video in which Louie teaches a young boy how to be safe around electricity. Then Beckworth and Kelly used a model of a house and power lines to demonstrate what electricity is and why safety is important.
“More than 40,000 people are electrocuted each year,” Beckworth told them.
Pupils gasped as Beckworth touched a metal rod to the power line and caused the electricity to arc, showing that even though you can’t see or smell electricity, it is there and it is dangerous.
“(The demonstration) helps to put a concrete example with an abstract idea like electricity,” said fifth-grade teacher Tamara Hammond, who organized the demonstration.
It coincides with what the children are learning in science class, Hammond said.
Georgia Power representatives have been presenting demonstrations such as this all over the state for at least 10 years, Beckworth said.
Sometimes they present more advanced demonstrations to adults in jobs such as construction. “You can learn about it in a book but it doesn’t have the same effect,” Kelly said.
Kendrea Medlock, 12, said her favorite part was the bus demonstration.
Kelly laid a downed power line on a model school bus and, using a model of a person, showed that electricity will run through the bus and through a person who touches the bus in its path to the ground.
Quentin Cosby, 10, and Caree McGahee, 10, said they enjoyed the presentation and learned a lot about electricity from it.
“I learned how much electricity (power lines) have going through it,” Caree said.
“I love it. I learned a lot (about) how you can be safe about electricity,” Quentin said.