Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative’s (GVEC) Louie the Lightning Bug Electrical Safety Program looks a little different in its 35th year. In the past, Louie has delivered a fun, educational presentation about electrical safety to more than 3,000 second grade students at more than 36 local elementary schools each year, which included an annual coloring contest.
This year, GVEC was not able to bring the traditional Louie the Lightning Bug program to schools due to COVID-19 regulations and restrictions. However, this did not stop the Cooperative from providing curriculum support to community classrooms. Louie is now “virtually” even more present and available to help educate young learners about the importance of electrical safety through Electric Universe - a new interactive website.
Electric Universe presents the opportunity for students to explore electrical safety with Louie through games, short video clips, fun activity and coloring pages. Teachers also have a space on the site offering lesson plans, experiments and references to help incorporate Electric Universe in their classrooms. Additionally, Louie crosses new frontiers to span a wider age range with advanced learning pages for older students as well as energy-saving and home safety tips for grown-ups.
In place of the annual coloring contest, teachers encourage students to draw a picture and write a brief description to demonstrate what they learned about electrical safety in Electric Universe. The projects are submitted to GVEC, and the Cooperative is able to showcase them in a social media slideshow.
This inaugural year saw student projects submitted from 18 schools throughout the GVEC area, including Cuero, Ezzell, Goliad, Gonzales, Cuero St. Michael, Jefferson Ave., La Vernia, Meyersville, Nordheim, Patlan Elementary, Hallettsville Sacred Heart, Shiner Elementary, Sweet Home, Navarro, Vysherad, Westhoff, Wiederstein Elementary and Yoakum.
The 2021 student-project slideshow can be viewed at gvec.electricuniverse.com, on GVEC’s social media pages: Facebook (@GVECsocial), Twitter (@GVEC_Tweets) and Instagram (@GVEC_INSTA).