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NC Energy Literacy Fellows to explore the future of the electric grid

June 12, 2019

2019 Energy Literacy Fellows at a solar farm in Pasquotank County.

The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) will host twenty middle and high school teachers from across North Carolina for a professional development institute to explore the future of the electric grid June 25-27. These teachers are enrolled in IE’s 2019 NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program, a yearlong, teacher professional development program that combines hands-on STEM investigations with place-based explorations of energy production facilities, energy research facilities and relevant careers.

During the summer institute, 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 learn about the career options 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.

Activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 25 and will include a tour of UNC’s co-generation power plant, a talk on energy policy by IE’s Steve Wall and a discussion of Executive Order 80, North Carolina’s Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy with Caitlin Rose from the State Energy Office.

On June 26 teachers will take an energy road trip from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to visit a landfill gas-to-energy facility at the South Wake Landfill, the Pulstar Nuclear Research Reactor at NCSU and Duke Energy’s Distribution Control Center in Raleigh.

On June 27 activities will run from 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. and will include talks by representatives from Southeastern Wind Coalition, Strata Solar and Duke Energy.

Media members interested in attending can obtain a detailed schedule of events by contacting Dana Haine, NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program Director,, (919) 843-5735 or Emily Williams, UNC Institute for the Environment Communications,, (919) 962-0965.

The Energy Literacy Fellows Program, now in its third year, is made possible with funding from the Duke Energy Foundation. Duke Energy has generously supported the IE’s K-12 energy education programming since 2014. Learn more.