At New Richmond Utilities, we believe that nothing is as important to the future of the community as our young citizens. We pride ourselves on our commitment to energy and safety education in New Richmond.
Whether it’s through the classroom or the community, we strive to provide a strong network of information to further educate community members about electric and water subjects and how it relates to customers both young and old.
As part of our ongoing educational efforts, New Richmond Utilities provides educational materials and presentations to schools, service groups and seniors. We also provide teaching units, videos, publications and workshops to interested groups all year long.
The following are just a few examples of our energy and safety education tools.
- National Theatre For Children
- Coloring Books, Crayons and stickers displayed in the office for children
- Informational booklets displayed in the office
Water Week Presentations
In April this year Utilities participated in Water Week throughout Wisconsin. New Richmond Utilities made several presentations at Paperjack, Hillside and Starr Elementaries and St. Mary's to the 4th and 5th grade classes. Bob Meyer, Water Department and Steve Skinner, Wastewater Treatment Plant, from New Richmond Utilities explained how our water and wastewater systems work here in New Richmond. The water department also brought their trucks and equipment to the school so the students could get a first hand look at how they do their jobs. The Utilities have done this at the schools for several years and it is a good learning experience for the 4th and 5th grade classes.
Pedal Power is a bicycle-powered generator that teaches basic scientific concepts related to the conversion of energy from one form to another and demonstrates the energy needed to power incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs, in addition to a hair dryer or radio. These concepts become tangible as the cyclist literally feels the effort required to power these items and the importance of conserving energy.
New Richmond Utilities sponsors multiple learning opportunities for area students.
Second grade students recently took a tour of PowerTown with Tom Rickard, New Richmond Utilities Electric Superintendent. Using a model city complete with transformers, power lines, poles and substations, Rickard demonstrated to students how to stay safe around electrical distribution equipment. Students saw examples of electrical accidents with live electricity providing attention-getting arcs.
“Electricity and electrical equipment are such a common part of modern life that children and adults sometimes forget to act safely,” Rickard said. “PowerTown is meant to dramatically show what can happen when electrical safety rules are not obeyed.”
PowerTown is an eight-foot electrical safety model that demonstrates the dangerous effects of contact with overhead power lines, transformers, downed overhead power lines and more. With the crackle of a high voltage electrical arc, the PowerTown presentation makes a lasting impression to reinforce electrical safety messages while miniature homes, people, cars and low-level electrical currents visually demonstrate hazards. The program also included a 10 minute “Louie the Lightning Bug” video that focused on electrical use and safety.
K-12 Energy Education Program for teachers (KEEP)
KEEP is a 16-hour in-service that helps teachers integrate hands-on energy education activities into their classrooms. The program also demonstrates how teachers can use energy education to ensure that their students meet Wisconsin academic standards.
KEEP makes the sometimes-intimidating topic of energy understandable to students of all ages. Second graders can learn about the coal mining process as they "find resources" in chocolate chip cookies. Middle school students can experiment with properties of motors by modeling an electric motor. High school students can discuss "energy futures" by studying energy trends and new technologies.
This program is offered to teachers at all grade levels. We offer a limited number of scholarships to teachers from the New Richmond school district each year.
National Theatre for Children
Each year, we sponsor numerous live theatre shows presented by the Minneapolis-based National Theatre for Children! (NTC). NTC tours the United States presenting lively, interactive educational half-hour shows. NTC dedicates itself to educating young people on important and timely energy-related topics. Coined with printed curriculum materials and teacher guides, these imaginative and customized presentations effectively reach the students, teachers, and parents. NTC is offered to all schools each year at no cost.
Watts Up! Meter
A Watts Up! meter is available for loan to New Richmond Utilities customers from the public library. It measures voltage, amperage and the cost of appliances or other equipment operating at 110 VAC (e.g. refrigerators, televisions, etc.). You can find out how much energy your appliances are costing you, or compare your current appliances to new energy efficient models.
“New Richmond Utilities continues to support the development and implementation of energy education programs for our students, as it is our goal to educate the next generation of energy users and allow them to experience and understand energy-saving principles in action,” said Weston Arndt, WPPI Energy Services Representative.
For more information, contact Weston Arndt at New Richmond Utilities at (715) 246-4167.