Charles Christensen, an electrical engineer with Public Service of New Hampshire, helped sixth grader Luke St. Cyr suit up in flame-retardant clothing typically worn by linemen during a visit to Londonderry Middle School Monday afternoon. During the 40-minute program, the students learned some interesting facts about power outages and the process of power restoration. (APRIL GUILMET PHOTO)
Science of power outages intrigues Londonderry 6th graders
Charles Christensen, transmission supervisor and electrical engineer for Public Service of New Hampshire, had the day off Monday, but that didn’t stop him from visiting friends at Londonderry Middle School, who were eager to learn a thing or two about electricity and how it operates.
Motioning to a pile of inactive wires, conductors and circuits, Christensen said he hoped a handful of the students might ultimately express interest in working for the local power company someday.
Papen said her father’s career made hers a unique childhood.
“Growing up, my mom and I would be home during a snowstorm, but my dad had to stay at work until everyone’s power came back on,” she laughed. “Sometimes it took quite a while.”
“These wires just aren’t made to handle quite this much ice,” he told the students. “That’s when you get power outages.”
“There are many other people working behind the scenes, people you don’t tend to see,” Christensen said. “It takes an enormous number of people and energy.”
“If you see a downed power line, you should keep away from it,” Christensen told the students. “Depending on the voltage, electricity can actually travel through the air. That’s what lightning is.”