Solar panels

The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) will host seventeen middle and high school teachers from across North Carolina who are enrolled in IE’s Energy Literacy Fellows Program at a professional development workshop July 10-12 that will explore the future of the electric grid and the integration of renewable energy sources. These teachers are enrolled in a year-long professional development program that began in April with a coastal retreat to explore wind, solar and ocean energy.

This program, now in its second year, is made possible with funding from the Duke Energy Foundation. Duke Energy’s support of the IE’s Sustainable Solutions for Water, Energy and Economic Development Program includes sponsorship of K-12 teacher and public outreach, along with graduate and faculty fellowships.

During the July workshop, fellows will hear from experts, conduct hands-on activities to facilitate student learning about electricity and the electric grid, tour the UNC co-generation plant and take an “energy road trip” to witness other energy generation facilities and to see what types of careers are available to their students. Teachers view these field trips as essential to advancing their energy knowledge and to increasing their credibility as energy educators in the eyes of their students.

“The activities and materials I now have in my teaching toolboxas a result of participating in the Energy Literacy Fellows Program allow me to help students understand the complexity of the electric gridand the exciting career opportunitiesawaiting them in this field. – 2017 Energy Literacy Fellow

Workshop activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 10 and will include talks by IE’s Steve Wall and by Jonas Monast with the UNC School of Law’s Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics (CE3). On July 11 teachers will take an energy road trip from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will visit Butler Farms in Lillington, NC; a landfill gas-to-energy facility at South Wake Landfill and the Pulstar Nuclear Research Reactor at NCSU. On July 12 activities will run from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. and will include talks by IE’s David McNelis and by representatives from Southeastern Wind Coalition, NC Sustainable Energy Association, Strata Solar and Advanced Energy.

Media members interested in attending can obtain a detailed schedule of events by contacting the Institute for the Environment.

UNC Institute for the Environment media contact: Emily Williams, emilywilliams@unc.edu, (919) 962-0965

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