Fiery flashes, pops and sizzles, and sometimes even a whiff of burning fabric tend to hold an audience’s attention during Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative’s electric arcing and safety demonstration. For an enterprising educator, however, that lesson is just a starting point for numerous lessons and discussions with students.
“I have been teaching physics for 15 years, and I remembered a presentation like this from when I was a student,” said Winfield Munns, a teacher at Martins Mill High School. “We are dealing with DC and AC electricity in class, and I wanted them to see that … they have front row seats to something they may remember for the rest of their lives.”
While large electrical arcs tend to steal the show during the demo, Munns took the less obvious educational aspects back to his students to reinforce the hands-on learning in the classroom.
“We set up circuits, we talk about transformers, getting into the details of how a circuit is set up and talking about it,” he said. “I think anyone who teaches any kind of physics and science, you could even tie it into chemistry, there are a whole lot of topics that can be tied back to electricity.”
Munns’ approach is certainly working. He also heads up the school’s robotics program, which in December took top state awards in the 2016 Texas Best and UIL State Championship event. The team’s agricultural robot won “Most Elegant” and “Top Gun” awards, as well as first place in the Texas Instruments Game Competition.
The team’s overall performance earned them the title as first ever UIL Group 1 Robotics Champion, competing against schools of all sizes from around the state.
“This ties it all together … why things happen, why something gets shocked,” Munns said. “For them to come in and hear the terminology that we have been using is good. I thought the demo was excellent and the presenters did a fantastic job.”
For information about available educational and safety demonstrations from TVEC, contact Public Relations Manager Bobbi Byford at (469) 376-2234 or [email protected].