Big Bucks for Safety

Kids draw natural gas hero Captain Mercaptan

Three methods are most likely to turn on the light bulb in the minds of elementary school youngsters: Use cartoon characters. Enlist the kids on projects. Reward their results.
    To turn the light on safe use of natural gas, Baltimore Gas and Electric — the oldest gas utility in America — is waging a trifecta.
    “BGE has a long-standing commitment to ensuring public safety and supporting educational initiatives in our communities,” says Calvin Butler Jr, the utility’s chief executive officer.
    Here the trifecta:
    The cartoon character: Captain Mercaptan, named for the chemical added to colorless, odorless natural gas to make it smell yucky.
    The project: Enticing public and private elementary schools across BGE’s Central Maryland service area to enlist students in grades K through 5 to draw Captain Mercaptan as a comic book superhero.
    The reward: A $10,000 top prize; plus $5,000 prizes for each grade; plus BGE backpacks full of school supplies and safety gear.
    Drawings due March 15. Entry kits at