Special to the News-Journal
Students in Texas State Technical College’s Troubleshooting Distribution Systems class were doing hands-on learning before the sun rose this past week.
The third semester students in the Electrical Lineworker Technology program experienced their first in-the-dark emergency simulation lab Thursday at the Marshall campus’ pole yard.
“They learned about what happens in the middle of the night,” said Stephen Woods, an instructor in TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program. “There were real-world situations they got to get in.”
The students spent the night on campus and were awakened at 2 a.m. for a simulated emergency call. When they arrived at the pole yard, they found it “damaged” by a hypothetical storm. The students broke into two teams to fix problems that included a broken power pole, downed power lines and other issues.
The students adapted to their first work in the dark by using their own light sources.
“In the dark, things get slowed down quite a bit,” said Dalton Simmons, 21, a TSTC Electrical Lineworker Technology major from Henderson. “You are working with a flashlight. In this humidity, your glasses fog up.”
Lee Russell, 37, a TSTC Electrical Lineworker Technology student from Tyler, said he learned about safety while adjusting to the dark.
“It was fun learning something new,” he said. “Everyone remained calm and got the job done.”
The hands-on lab was a teaching lesson for faculty as well.
“We see a lot of areas we need to cover better to help them out,” Woods said. “In the end, it makes our program better.”