Lisa O'Leary Putting Our Energy into Education

Guest Blog Post by Gina Meehan, Supervisor of Public Awareness, Ameren Illinois

Talking to children about natural gas safety is one of the best things about my job. And at Ameren Illinois, we’re serious about making learning fun.

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Our mascot Sniffy the Sniffasaurus teaches children how to recognize a gas leak by using their senses to detect the odor of rotten eggs, while the “Wheel of Misfortune” game highlights the dangers of digging before calling 811. I also use exciting methods to communicate our “Smell Gas, Leave Fast” message.

Kids and teachers alike love Along with fun facts, videos and interactive games, this website provides free teaching materials and resources about energy safety. At the end of 2012, this program had reached 50,000 K-6 students and has continued to grow throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

From campsites to neighborhood parades, Ameren Illinois looks for unique opportunities to engage kids year-round. At “Big Truck Day” 1,000 pre-kindergarten students discovered Sniffy and just how cool utility trucks really are. Giveaways like scratch-n-sniff cards help us bring safety messages into the home.

While energy education doesn’t end with the classroom, it’s a great place to start.

Lisa O'Leary

About Lisa O'Leary

Lisa O'Leary is the Manager of Digital Communications for the American Gas Association. Prior to joining AGA, Lisa served as Manager of Multimedia Communications for the Senator John Heinz History Center, "the Smithsonian's home in Pittsburgh," and as a Web Producer at WPXI-TV, Channel 11 News in Pittsburgh, PA. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
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