In May 2022, Dana Haine, K-12 science education manager for the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science, was awarded the 2022 Outstanding Informal Educator Award from RePowering Schools.
REpowering Schools is a national non-profit organization dedicated to building a diverse renewable energy workforce by connecting the renewable energy industry with K-12 schools, educators, colleges and universities. This award recognizes Haine for her sustained energy education work with NC’s K-12 STEM teachers and students since joining the Institute in 2007.
In 2017, Haine founded and continues to serve as director for the NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program, a year-long teacher professional development and capacity-building program that prepares 20 8th-12th grade STEM teachers annually to deliver energy-related content, conduct STEM-based activities and promote relevant career opportunities to students.
Made possible with funding from the Duke Energy Foundation, this program immerses STEM teachers in learning about the evolving electric grid through interactive sessions, presentations and field trips. Teachers explore the current and future electric grid and critically evaluate the options available to utilities that are striving to meet growing consumer demand for affordable and reliable electricity while meeting carbon reduction goals.
Denise Renfro, a career and technical education (CTE) teacher and director of the Academy of Green Technology at Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville, NC, and participant in the 2019 NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program, was one of the teachers who nominated Haine for this award.
“There is no separating our Academy’s growth and success from my participation in Dana’s energy program, which helped me to recognize that if I am going to teach about renewables, I must also teach about their often unique and challenging connection to the grid,” says Renfro. “I am excited to see Dana recognized for her successful efforts to cultivate a community of energy educators across NC.”
Remy Pangle, executive director of RePowering Schools, announced the award during the live program on May 18, 2022, as part of the Cleanpower Conference in San Antonio, TX, which was held alongside the National KidWind Challenge and Collegiate Wind competitions.
“Dana was selected to receive this award because of the demonstrated impact she has had on both educators and youth when it comes to renewable energy education as described by several program alumni. REpowering Schools is excited to have Dana as its 2022 outstanding informal educator.”