Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

For Immediate Release


Rachael Lighty

BGE Encourages Elementary Students to Create its New Natural Gas Safety Hero and Submit Drawings by April 14 for a Chance to Receive $10,000 in Funding for a School Enrichment Project

BGE’s new gas safety hero challenge, Who is Captain Mercaptan?, provides a creative opportunity for students to learn about natural gas safety and also receive funding toward a school enrichment project

BALTIMORE (April 9, 2014) –Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) invites all public and private elementary schools in its service area to work with their students in grades Kindergarten through fifth grade to create an image of BGE’s new fictional natural gas safety hero, Captain Mercaptan, for the chance to win up to $10,000 to fund a school enrichment project. Each class can submit up to three drawings and one description of Captain Mercaptan’s backstory and multiple entries will be accepted from one school. Schools have until Monday, April 14, 2014 to upload their entries to the contest website, A downloadable entry kit with contest details and a lesson plan on natural gas safety is also available on the contest website.

The new hero derives his name from mercaptan, the odorant added by utilities to normally odorless natural gas to make it safer and detectable by scent. The goal of the “Who is Captain Mercaptan?” natural gas safety hero challenge is to teach children the importance of natural gas safety and what they should do in the event they smell gas.

“The safety of our customers is a top priority at BGE, and we are excited to provide an opportunity to teach important natural gas safety information with children, who can at the same time use their ingenuity and creativity to share that important safety information with their friends and family,” said Robert Biagiotti, vice president of gas distribution for BGE. “We encourage all public and private elementary schools to check out both the contest and the lesson plan on natural gas safety on our contest website,, to share with their students. We look forward to seeing all of the great drawings of Captain Mercaptan and how the winning schools will use the funding to create meaningful learning opportunities for their students.”

Eligible schools will have an opportunity to win the following awards: 

  • BGE Captain’s Award - $10,000 
  • BGE Hero Award - $5,000 for winners in grades K-5 
  • BGE Spotlight Award (for the drawing with the most online votes) – BGE backpacks full of school supplies and safety gear

Starting April 21, all eligible entries will compete against each other during a two-week online public voting period ending on May 5. Top voted entries will then advance to the final judging round where a panel will review each entry based on creativity, proven understanding of natural gas safety, description 2 of Captain Mercaptan and illustration artistry. Winning schools will be announced in early June 2014. For more information, including official rules, downloadable entry kit and helpful tips, visit

In addition to the Captain Mercaptan Challenge, BGE provides schools and students with energy safety and other educational materials on safety, including classroom lessons, teacher guides, experiments and games – all of which are available on our e-Smart Kids website.

For more information on natural gas safety or the Captain Mercaptan BGE Natural Gas Safety Hero Challenge, visit

# # #

BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 655,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2013 revenues of approximately $24.9 billion. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

© Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, 2023. All Rights Reserved.