Professor Gig-A-Watt Leads New Era for EPB’s Play It Safe School Program

Chattanooga, TN (September 30, 2015) – Battle Academy’s third grade class, along with teachers, Superintendent Rick Smith and EPB, formally introduced Professor Gig-A-Watt to the community as a new era begins for the utility’s long-standing Play it Safe program in Hamilton County schools.

Kelvin Boyd, aka Professor Gig-A-Watt, assumed the role of EPB’s new ambassador to local schools and will lead the Play it Safe program that promotes electrical safety and education of basic circuits with fun, hands-on learning modules.

“Hamilton County schools have enjoyed a great partnership with EPB and Dr. Shock through the years, which has benefited so many children,” said Superintendent Rick Smith. “I’m thankful for their commitment to education, and excited that the Play it Safe program will continue under Kelvin Boyd’s leadership as Professor Gig-A-Watt.”

The Play it Safe program began in 1998, when Pierce assumed the role of Dr. Shock to promote electrical safety and encourage children to learn about science and the world around them. During those 16 years, Dr. Shock visited with 113,000 children during thousands of in-school presentations. Pierce retired from EPB in 2014, and since that time helped with the selection of his successor and prepared Boyd for his new role as Professor Gig-A-Watt.

During the ceremonial introduction, Pierce retired his Dr. Shock lab coat, hard hat and gloves and presented Boyd with his new Professor Gig-A-Watt lab coat, hard hat and gloves.

“Mentoring children is my passion, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to represent EPB as Professor Gig-A-Watt,” Boyd said. “It is an honor for me to promote safety, spark imaginations and continue a great tradition that Hosea Pierce built from the ground up so many years ago.”

Since Boyd assumed his new role, Professor Gig-A-Watt has already visited with more than 9,000 school children. In addition to the safety and circuits learning modules that Pierce developed, Boyd will create additional learning modules to teach children about the community’s smart grid and gigabit-speed fiber optic network.

Parents and teachers can schedule a Professor Gig-A-Watt presentation by calling EPB at (423) 648-1481.    

About EPB

Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area. 

EPB serves nearly 180,000 homes and businesses in a 600 square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga, as well as parts of surrounding counties and areas of North Georgia. 

In 2010, EPB became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network that provides access to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first (and to date) only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer. 

EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid.


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