Teachers spend summer as students of alternative energy
It’s summer, but school is not out for everyone.
Teachers from Lexington School District Two, Richland School District One and two private schools are in a class to learn about alternative energy.
The continuing education opportunity is grant-funded and incorporates STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subject matter for kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers. Bridget Miller of the University of South Carolina’s College of Education wrote the grant that funds the class.
As a part of alternative energy learning, the 46 teachers in the program have visited Riverbanks Zoo to see how solar energy is generated. The teachers also took a trip the Santee Cooper Cross Generation Station in Pineville to learn about other ways to produce power.
Campbell, project manager of USC’s College of Education, said there is a segment on climate change, too.
Teachers say they already have benefited from the program, which ends this Friday, and that they plan to pass their newfound knowledge on to their students.
“I’ve gained a lot of content knowledge that will help me better teach my students about energy and how to conserve it,” said Heather Pence, a fifth-grade teacher at Saluda River Academy for the Arts in West Columbia. “I have also learned more about the different forms of energy available and the individual benefits,” Pence said. “As I teach engineering and energy skills this year, I hope to spark an excitement in my students that will encourage some of them to pursue engineering and possibly tackle the problems our world faces today, including efficient ways to store energy.”
Casey Hallman, a teacher in Lexington Two, said the learning in the course can result in better preparing students for careers.
“As teachers we will create Problem Based Lessons (PBLs) to implement with our students on these forms of energy that align with the SC College and Career Readiness Standards,” Hallman said.