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Students learn through hands-on approach

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NCC students Oscar Hernandez, right, and Patrick Gillis put the final touches on their model power station kits.

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From Contributed Reports

Monday, March 5, 2018

Ever wonder what happens when the power goes out?

ELC 111 Introduction to Electricity students are learning just that through a hands-on approach. Nash Community College Instructor Ricky Joyner devised a practical way to show students in his class using scaled models of a power station.

Joyner designed model kits with transformers on poles, low voltage components and other replicated elements. The setup simulates pad mount transformers, which are used with underground electric power distribution. This semester, students are using the kits for the first time.

“When training on voltage, current and resistance measurements, students need to know how these fundamentals relate to the work they will do in their career,” Joyner said. “Most of these students are preparing to be electric line technicians. They need to fully understand the implications of their work.”

Picture above, Sarah Funderburg with a completed model kit.

In the past, the lab kits used were difficult for students to draw a correlation between the kit set-up and the way transformers actually appear in the field. Also the kits were probably discarded or put away in a closet. The new kits not only work better in a visual understanding but also can be used as a desk lamp, cell phone charger or low voltage power source for projects.

“Part of our responsibility in preparing students for real-world careers is being able to adequately simulate field applications in the classroom learning environment,” Joyner said. “And that is exactly what students enrolled in the Line Academy class are experiencing.”

ELC 111 introduces the fundamental concepts of electricity and test equipment to non-electrical/electronics majors. The course covers basic DC and AC principles including voltage, resistance, current, impedance and components such as resistors, inductors and capacitors, power and operation of test equipment.

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