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They keep the lights on

Lowell —  For hands-on, real-world examples of how electricity works and powers their own school and homes, Cherry Creek Elementary fourth-graders recently took a quick walk from school to Lowell Light & Power.

They toured the municipally owned electric system’s (standby) generation facility, saw the combustion turbines, met line workers and learned about safety issues. And they made miniature motors out of wires to show the transfer of energy.

“When we talk about making power, it actually happens here in this building,” said Charlie West, general manager.

Lowell Light & Power serves about 3,000 customers, including all Lowell Area Schools buildings except Alto and Murray Lake. The company works with various age groups at schools to teach about energy production and related careers, but the fourth-grade science curriculum aligns with the visit, which occurred during Public Power Week.

“I’m excited we get to learn about how electricity is made and how they do a bunch of things to help people have power to homes and stuff,” said fourth-grader Brynlee Boudro.

Teacher Jill Conner said fourth-graders learn about electricity as a form of energy, how circuits work and how to make a switch.

“They are learning it’s not just batteries that make power, it also comes from right here, down the street from our school and it’s generated here.”

Through a partnership with Consumers Energy, LLP also provides grants to Lowell elementary schools that teachers can use to fund field trips or other classroom needs. Students also get energy kits from Consumers Energy and LLP.

Read more from Lowell: 
Radio station founder’s voice continues to echo
Elementary renovation, high school upgrades identified in facilities assessment

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio


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