Thursday, December 13, 2018

Scouts energized by Electricity Merit Badge clinic

The We Energies Public Service Building in Milwaukee was energized with activity as the 65th annual We Energies Electricity Merit Badge clinic for area Boy Scouts was held on Dec. 8.

The day began with an electric safety presentation by Marko Lucchesi, a supervisor in our electric construction maintenance group. The demonstration used a smaller-scale model of a street with homes, businesses, cars and people to show how each might come into contact with power equipment.

As part of the discussion, Lucchesi picked up a hot dog with insulated tongs and explained the similarities it has to a human: “Both have water, salt and meat.” He then touched the hot dog to live wires. It cooked from the inside out within seconds, surprising the scouts and showing why it’s important to avoid electric wires and equipment.

Lucchesi also talked to the group about how our employees stay safe. He displayed and allowed the scouts to explore the safety equipment that line mechanics use on a daily basis.

Pat Stiff, our vice president of coal generation and biomass, and a member of the Boy Scouts of America Three Harbors Council executive board, talked about his own experience as a scout. Stiff said he carries the lessons he learned as a scout with him today. He told the scouts to have fun and learn, and to be thankful for their parents and the volunteers who helped them at the event.

As part of the requirements to earn the electricity merit badge, the scouts showed their knowledge by completing several hands-on demonstrations to our employees. Some of these demonstrations included making and operating an electromagnet, completing an electrical home safety inspection, and demonstrating how to respond to an electrical medical emergency.

A written exam further tested their knowledge and skills of how electricity works and how to be safe around it. Scouts were tested on electrical terms and proper first aid procedures for a person exposed to a live wire.

Finally, the scouts presented their findings from a pre-event project to our employees who volunteered at the clinic.

Ted Sniegowski, manager – power generation, summed up our 65-year commitment to this program: “The more we can help young people explore technology and science, the better prepared they will be for the future.”

The electricity merit badge is one of the original merit badges adopted by the Boy Scouts in 1911.

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