CDM Partners with EPB on Smart Grid and Fiber Optics Exhibit

Published: | by Kyrstin Hill

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. (March 20, 2017) – In an effort to showcase the ways technology is helping transform our community, Creative Discovery Museum has partnered with EPB to create an exhibit about the Smart Grid, Fiber Optics and how electricity makes it into the home. The exhibit is featured in the Museum’s expanded Make It Space area.

The EPB Smart Grid technology simulator, programmed by local software developer L2D, highlights how EPB’s Smart Grid responds to power outages during inclement weather. As a storm passes through the city, game users work in conjunction with EPB’s Smart Grid technology to restore power to the residents of Chattanooga.

Through a partnership with OFS, a leading manufacturer of optical fiber, visitors are introduced to the characteristics of optical fiber, how it is made and why pure glass is an optimal material to transmit data and communications. In this section of the exhibit, visitors investigate total internal reflection by passing a laser beam of light through the preform and learn about splicing optical fibers.

The exhibit also provides children with a basic understanding of electricity. Visitors can build their own circuits and investigate how electricity flows through the grid and into their homes by playing with breakers and switches.

“Electricity is a mystery in every child’s life. Presenting electricity in a visible way makes the topic approachable and understandable,” said Karen Dewhirst, science manager at Creative Discovery Museum. “EPB’s exhibit in the Make It space is a perfect fit. It’s important for kids to understand circuitry, robotics and programming if they are going to be the inventors and makers of the future. This exhibit provides exposure to all of those concepts.”

“We are very excited to have EPB’s Smart Grid and fiber optic technology on display in the Museum,” said Henry Schulson, executive director at Creative Discovery Museum. “EPB has been a great supporter of the Museum for many years. We are happy to now have a way to share the many great things they are doing for the community in an educational format.”

“I am proud of our partnership with the Creative Discovery Museum and the opportunity EPB has to help inspire education in a fun and engaging way,” said EPB President and CEO David Wade. “This hands-on exhibit can help children understand how Chattanooga’s fiber optic network works.”

Creative Discovery Museum is open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information about the Museum’s Make It exhibit, please visit

About EPBEstablished 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 more than 170,000 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.

About Creative Discovery Museum
Creative Discovery Museum is recognized as one of the top children’s museums in the nation. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to educational enrichment for children ages 4 months to 12 years through interactive, hands-on experiences that foster creative and critical thinking.

Creative Discovery Museum focuses on a broad range of areas encompassed by Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Technology and the Sciences. In addition to its exhibits, Creative Discovery Museum provides local residents and visitors with special events, educational programming, teacher resources for the classroom, field trips, after school programming, early childhood education classes, artist residencies, camps, art lessons, science demonstrations, and a branch of the local library. Creative Discovery Museum is a funded agency of ArtsBuild and also receives funding support from Tennessee Arts Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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