Therm (natural gas) and Volt (electricity) made their appearance at Rushville Elementary School East on Sept. 19 courtesy of Vectren. Vectren, headquartered in Evansville, provides gas and/or electricity to more than 1 million customers in adjoining areas that cover nearly two-thirds of Indiana and West Central Ohio.
Gayla Reuter-Alm, Kathleen Foyle and Jerry Breeck (Vectren) joined Ms. Barrett’s and Mr. Harpring’s 4th grade classes for some energy education. It is in this setting where they became Energy Safe Kids. Right out of the box, they realized that energy is “the ability to work or cause change” and that there are renewable and non-renewable energy sources. This class can now tell you without a doubt that some energy like wind, solar power, hydro power and ethanol are renewable energy resources. While natural gas is a fossil fuel (non-renewable) and takes a very long time to be a viable energy source.
Natural gas is a colorless and odorless energy source, so as a safety precaution, mercaptan is added to natural gas to make it smell and easier to detect. Most would describe the smell as rotten eggs! Natural gas is also highly combustible and all were reminded that we need to keep areas around furnaces and water heaters clean and clear. If anything is suspicious, students were encouraged to get out (or away) and find an adult to let them know what they’ve seen or smelled. Call 911 immediately. And, always call 811 before you dig.