In-class curriculum materials, teacher aids and specialized training modules developed by Ameren Illinois are helping more than 50,000 elementary and high school students and their families to be safer around electric and natural gas infrastructure.
Through the Ameren Illinois Energy Smart Kids program, Ameren Illinois provides kindergarten through eighth grade teachers with dynamic energy safety and efficiency content, including videos, interactive games, quizzes, and experiments that are age-appropriate on topics such as atoms, electrons and electrical flow, substations, electric water hazards, natural gas drilling, storage and natural gas leak recognition. The free resources are sent each year to teachers to incorporate in their lesson plans.
“These materials are built for the classroom, support teaching objectives and help students learn to use energy responsibly,” said Mary Heger, senior vice president, Customer Experience for Ameren Illinois. “We regularly hear from our teachers that the curriculum and exercises are motivational and well received by the students. Even better, these are lessons they take home to their parents and family members.”
For high school students, Ameren Illinois created a training module that instructs teen drivers about what to do if a vehicle encounters a downed power line. The module and curriculum were created based on the input of 150 driver education instructors who indicated that the basic driver education curriculum lacked information about the dangers of downed power lines. The company partnered with the Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association to design the module and supporting materials that teachers are using in the classroom, behind the wheel, or virtually. Visit AmerenIllinois.com/DriverEd to learn more.
“It’s a natural instinct to quickly exit a vehicle after any crash, but when power lines are involved, both the vehicle and ground can become energized,” said Karen Boulanger, director, Safety for Ameren Illinois, who is also featured on the safety video. “Our training drives home the importance of remaining in the vehicle and calling 911. Only when the power company arrives and certifies that the lines are de-energized is it safe to exit.”
Visit AmerenIllinois.com/EnergySmartKids to learn more.
PHOTO: Jordy Curtis is the teen driver who inspired Ameren Illinois to create a wire-on-car safety campaign for driver education instructors.