Children Learn Electrical Safety Lessons Through ‘A Bug’s Light!’

SCE uses live theatre as part of its public safety outreach.

October 03, 2014 | By Susan Cox

At Liberty Boulevard Elementary School in South Gate, students were aglow with excitement during a recent performance of “A Bug’s Light!”  

Sparky the Wonder Bug, star of the show and costumed in antennas and wings, was delivering an important lesson to the children on how they and their families can stay safe around electricity. 

“There is so much we can learn about electricity,” she said. “Electricity loves to travel through water. And because you’re also made of water, electricity can travel through us.”

“Remember, water and electricity do not mix.”

“Don’t climb trees near power lines.”

“Stay away from downed power lines.”

“And don’t fly kites near power lines.”

As part of Southern California Edison’s (SCE) public safety outreach efforts, the live, interactive learning production will make stops at 41 schools across SCE’s service territory this fall, reaching nearly 23,000 students.

“A Bug’s Light!,” which features actors from the National Theatre for Children playing an assortment of characters, makes learning fun and entertaining as children are taught how electricity is made and used, how to identify dangerous situations both inside and outside the home and ways to stay safe around electricity, including when around downed power lines.

By increasing children’s electrical safety awareness, SCE believes the show’s safety messages can help youngsters protect themselves and teach their family members to avoid potentially life-threatening electrical hazards.

“A Bug’s Light!’ is a terrific opportunity to educate children about the wonders and hazards of electricity in a fun and entertaining way,” said Don Neal, SCE’s director of Corporate Environmental, Health and Safety. “This program is an important element of SCE’s core mission to promote public safety around power lines.”

In addition to the professional actors, each school receives teaching tools, a classroom curriculum, homework assignments and activities books in English and Spanish that students can take home and share with their families.

Most important is that the messages resonate with students.

Seven-year-old Irene Arias didn’t hesitate to share what she’d learned after recently seeing “A Bug’s Light!”

“I liked that they were telling us safe things inside and outside houses. I learned don’t put forks, fingers, wires or antennas in plugs because you could get shocked,” she said.

She wasn’t the only second-grader with an opinion.

“I liked it,” said Maya Carrasco, 6. “We learned to keep water away from electricity and not to climb trees around power lines.”

“Stay away from power lines when they’re on the floor,” said Brody Garoz, 6.

“Don’t stand close to transformers and don’t stand close to trees that are next to wires,” cautioned Jose Becerra, 7.

Hearing her students recite all that they’d learned about electrical safety during the 25-minute show didn’t escape their impressed teacher Ollie Burgos.  

“It was very entertaining and they learned a lot,” she said. “I’m amazed at how much they learned and how well they could share it.”

“I liked Sparky the Wonder Bug,” said Irene, a second-grader. “She was really concerned about things.  She didn’t know a lot about electricity, but she learned a lot.”

Just like the audience.

Topics: Safety