CO-OP PEOPLE
Call It a (W)rap
Co-op Teens Power Texas video contest winners get everybody singing about electricity

The winning video features, from left, Thompson Wagner, Weston Smith and Gabriel Fermin.

Yo, let me tell you something about electri-ci-tee—try not to waste it, this stuff ain’t free!” Using a current form of communication—rap—the winners of the 2011 Co-op Teens Power Texas video contest helped educate their fellow students about electricity.

Their strategy of instructing via a rap song worked so well that their peers—and yes, even teachers—at Burnet High School walked through the halls singing the song created by Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) member Thompson Wagner, 18, and classmates Gabriel Fermin, 18, and Weston Smith, 17, also a PEC member.

In the contest, sponsored by Texas Co-op Power magazine and its member electric cooperatives, high school students statewide recorded one- to three-minute educational videos about electricity.

Holly Raiford, career and technology education teacher at Burnet High School, guided the students through the creation of the video. They wrote the song in class, filmed the video on their own time and edited it in the classroom. Raiford assessed the video at each stage of the process.

“They played the basic beat for me, and I immediately loved it,” she said. “Then we shared it with the class, and it appealed to a variety of people with different musical tastes. That pumped them up to continue making sure each part of their submission was just as great.”

This marked the first time that Raiford’s audio/visual production students participated in the contest. Because she sponsored the submission, Burnet High School will receive $1,000—money that will go toward improving Raiford’s classroom, with her students determining how it is spent. Likely, it will help purchase a new computer. The teens will receive a total of $1,500, which they plan to split.

To see the winning video, as well the other videos that placed in the contest, go to our contest page or visit the contest’s YouTube page.

Now, we’ll allow our winners to call it a (w)rap: Let’s “thank the companies that connect this city with the one and only resource: ELEC-TRI-CI-TEE!”

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Rachel Frey, former editorial intern