School children in Franklin will be safer and smarter with electricity thanks to a new school programme launched by local lines company Counties Power.

The Counties Power School Programme is a tactile electricity experiment aimed at Year 5 and up students and available to every school in the area.

Counties Power Acting Chief Executive Corporate Andrew Toop says the programme’s aim is to teach children how electricity works and, most importantly, how to stay safe around it.

“Once children learn how electricity works, they can understand how circuits are created and make smart choices in daily life and in emergency situations. New Zealand primary schools can always benefit from additional science and experiment resources so a major focus of ours was also on supplying a high value interactive experiment that all the class could have hands on learning with, while also teaching important safety messages.”

The programme consists of a large ‘paper circuitry’ map designed to reflect local Franklin and southern Counties icons and sites, from the lighthouse at Manukau Heads to Pukekohe Town Square’s Christmas Tree, the Kaiaua Fish and Chip Shop and the Tuakau Bridge. The map also includes Counties Power’s sponsorship partners, including Counties Manukau Rugby’s Ecolight Stadium and Coastguard Waiuku.

Using the supplied circuitry components, including silver pens, copper tape, batteries and LED lights, children learn how to make electrical circuits and light up the locations on the map. The kit also includes a teacher’s resource card, along with important electrical safety messages for students to take home that teaches them about electricity dangers inside the home and out and about.

Waiau Pa School Principal Simon Williams says the kits are an innovative and fun way to teach an important science topic to children.

“This is a wonderful resource to teach students how electricity works, with a fully supplied kit our teachers can just pick up and teach from. The lesson can be adapted to fit in with other topics and given it’s localised and uses locations our children are familiar with and feel an affiliation to, it’s really relevant to them which helps with learning outcomes.”

Counties Power worked alongside Hamilton company School Kit, to develop the concept and programme.

The kits have been offered to every primary school in the Counties Power network area which runs coast to coast between southern Papakura and Mercer, and west of the Waikato River to Waikaretu.

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