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Students Get Energy Education Thanks to Company Volunteers


EFH, Luminant and TXU Energy employees host science fair at Julian T. Saldivar Elementary School in Dallas.

SolarAcademyGenerating a bright start to the school year, more than 70 EFH, Luminant and TXU Energy employees recently hosted a science fair for students at Julian T. Saldivar Elementary School in Dallas.

Partnering with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the company hosted its second Day of Caring at Saldivar for more than 200 4th- and 5th-grade students.

With the help of Luminant Mobile Learning Center and TXU Energy Solar Academy, children learned about the power of the sun, electricity, and renewable and nonrenewable resources through interactive experiments and hands-on activities.

These projects coincide with United Way’s and DISD’s goals to promote success in the classroom by increasing literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Understanding these core concepts can give students a foundation for critical thinking and long-term academic success.

“We were happy to be back at Saldivar Elementary this year for our annual Day of Caring,” said Andrea Pelosi, director of IT PMO for EFH and the 2013 United Way campaign chair. “All of the volunteers really showed their spirit for giving back to the community. I’ve never seen our volunteers so engaged. At the end of the event, hearing students say, ‘That was so much fun and when can we do it again?’ really made our day and helped us know that we achieved our goal in providing a fulfilling day for the students and teachers.”

At the Luminant Mobile Learning Center, students were guided through the mining and power generation process. Children pretended they were gearing up for the workday, trying on safety vests, steel-toe boots, safety glasses and more.

In the cafeteria, students rotated through 15 TXU Energy Solar Academy stations, each offering a different experiment or activity. At one station, children were given a foil strip and a battery to discover how to make a flash bulb light up, and at another they sampled various objects to find out what a magnet will attract.

Becky Smith, energy assistance specialist for TXU Energy, volunteered at a station where students made bracelets with solar beads. They observed the change in bead color when the beads were exposed to ultraviolet light.

“It was such an exciting experience to see the kids’ faces when they saw the solar beads change color in the ultraviolet light. It was like magic to them,” Becky said. “Taking time out of my day to make someone else’s day better is very rewarding and fulfilling. I feel very proud and fortunate that I’m able to do this and work for a company that feels the same way I do.”