Today we took a family trip to the south end of Lake Norman, near Huntersville, where the Duke Power EnergyExplorium is located at the McGuire Nuclear Station. Lake Norman is a man-made lake built by Duke Energy in 1963. There are three power plants located on the lake--nuclear, hydroelectric, and coal.
We learned all about how nuclear and hydroelectric energy is made and how it is transmitted to our homes. Since this is a Duke Power museum, and it is free, we learned how amazing Duke is, how well they protect the environment, and how safe everything is. In truth, I was impressed to learn that the control room operators of the nuclear plants spend one out of every five weeks in training.
Our family favorites in this museum were the generation station,
the treadmill generator (which powers up a TV),
and the plasma globe (where Carter got a nasty shock from Jonah).
It only takes an hour to go through this museum, but we had some good learning experiences in there. The kids really grasped how electricity is metered on our home and we have to pay for the lights we have on and the games we play. When we came home, Courtney ran around unplugging and turning things off. They also gave us some great workbooks to take home for each kid. Thankfully, they included an answer key workbook because I have no idea what the answers are to some of those questions.
If you do visit, make sure to plan some other activities in the area to do as well. There is a butterfly garden next to the museum as well as a 1 mile nature trail.
There are also some nice parks on the lake, and of course, there's always geocaching to be done! We took a quick side trip to this monument to General William Lee Davidson, a hero of the American Revolution. He was killed in a spot nearby that is now under water, thanks to the damming of the river to make the lake. It was for him that both Davidson County and Davidson College are named.