Bardstown
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By Olivia Walton, student journalist
 
The faces of the fourth grade students at Bardstown Elementary (BES) were in shock Friday afternoon as Salt River Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (Salt River RECC) lineman Billy Marks and safety coordinator Dewayne Thomas demonstrated the power of electricity. The students got to see a hotdog get electrocuted, try on a lineman’s gloves, and feel dirt that had been turned into glass by electricity.
 
These programs teach the kids about safety, “how to protect themselves from electricity,” Billy Marks said. 
 
Marks, a lineman of thirty-seven years at Salt River RECC, has been coming to BES for the past five years to teach students about electricity. To him, the well-being of the students is extremely important. Marks’ biggest mission is to teach the students “how to be careful and not get electrocuted,” he explained. 
 
He and Thomas demonstrated what to do around downed power lines, electrical storms, and how electrocution works through electrifying experiments. 
 
“You may learn something today that mom or dad may not know and you can tell them about electricity,” Marks said, speaking to the fourth graders. 
 
The safety procedures the students learned will help them throughout the rest of their lives. Katy F, a student in Mrs. Hibbs’ class, said she learned how “[e]lectricity can make waves and electrify you on the ground” from the downed power line experiment. Another student, Emma M, explained how “when a power line falls, you still know how to get out of the car,” without getting hurt. Isaac H from Mrs. Skaggs’ class realized how important the smallest things are when it comes to safety. 
 
“If there’s a hole in the rubber gloves, then you can still get electrocuted,” he said after getting to put his hand inside a real lineman’s glove. 
 
All three students said they would use this new information to stay safe now and as they get older.
 
Bardstown Elementary will continue to host these demonstrations to further students’ knowledge of safety and electricity, but for now, this year’s fourth graders know when to say “It’s electric!”
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