Last week more than 30 high school students from Colorado’s co-op service territories gathered at United Power to kick off the 2015 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The Youth Tour is an opportunity for young men and women living in co-op service territories to learn about the importance of electric cooperatives.
This year, the students had one day to meet and learn about how electricity is generated and distributed before heading to Washington, D.C. for a week-long gathering with 1,700 other youth from all over the country.
At United Power, the Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA) coordinated presentations about electricity distribution, and the linemen put on an informative electrical safety presentation. Tri-State’s communications coordinator, Michelle Pastor, spoke about electricity distribution, how power is generated and transmitted and finally how it gets to homes from the power plant.
The students then put their knowledge to the test by competing in a “Building a Crafty Electric System” activity, where they had to build a power system using pipe cleaners, marshmallows and popsicle sticks and other crafty items to show how generation, transmission, and finally distribution to homes occurs at a power plant.
For the last part of the tour, the students were taken to the state capitol building and visited Tri-State to have dinner and listen to Senator Beth Martinez Humenik speak about the process in which bills are passed by the Senate. To finish the night, they were given a tour of the Tri-State operations center to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to work at an electric cooperative before heading to Washington, D.C. the next morning.
“It was a pleasure to work with the students. They asked great questions throughout the day and were very creative when it came time to design their own electric system” said Pastor.
This year marks the 51st Youth Tour, which began in 1964 and has since had more than 50,000 participants.