Tuesday, 09 September 2014 17:06

Davidson, Duke Energy in seminar partnership

Written by  Staff

DAVIDSON, N.C. -- Davidson College is playing an active role in presenting energy-related information to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers through a program supported by Duke Energy. The power giant is providing a $20,000 grant to Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) to fund an extended, energy-focused series of seminars for CMS teachers and two special public events this fall.

CTI is an innovative educational partnership among CMS, Davidson College and UNC Charlotte that cultivates teachers’ content knowledge, creativity, leadership and collaboration via intensive seminars led by Davidson College and UNCC faculty.

 The Duke Energy grant will support a CTI long-term seminar this year titled “The Global Energy Challenge” that will include two public events. The first is a presentation titled “Teachers as Scholars: The Nature of Energy,” which will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the EnergyExplorium at McGuire Nuclear Station in Huntersville in partnership with Piedmont Natural Gas.

 The second, titled “Exploding Canons: Under the Lake,” will be held Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Davidson College. The Exploding Canons program explores the changing social and physical landscape of Lake Norman over its 50 year history.

 Both events are free and begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by presentations from 6:30 to 8.

 “Duke Energy commends the more than 100 teachers who will spend much of their free time ... participating in the Charlotte Teachers Institute,” said Richard Williams, president of Duke Energy Foundation. “These dedicated educators are being exposed to content-rich ideas and are developing curriculum that will benefit students in Charlotte classrooms and beyond. We are proud to support the work of the Institute.”

 Davidson College chemistry professor Durwin Striplin, faculty leader for the energy seminar, notes he is also grateful for “the opportunity to study and learn — with a very energetic and keen group of fellow teachers — about the energy future that faces our planet and the challenges we face.

“We’re looking at not only possible solutions to the massive energy needs that will confront us in the next couple of decades,” he added, “but also the necessary teaching practices that will motivate students to take part in this all-inclusive, all-important global conversation.”

CTI seminars began in April and continue to December, with 104 CMS teachers participating. CTI Fellows work closely with university/college faculty and each other to create new curricula designed for their own classrooms, with an expected reach of 15,000 CMS students in 2014-15.

 In addition to Davidson College, various CTI seminars are also being held at Discovery Place, the Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture and UNCC.

 Through seminars led by UNCC and Davidson College faculty, CMS teachers learn new content, work collaboratively with other teachers, and develop new classroom projects and patterns for their students. Teachers serve as leaders in the institute and choose seminar topics they deem most important and engaging for current CMS teachers and their students. Since CTI’s inception in 2009, more than 350 CMS teachers conducting classes for more than 70,000 students have participated in CTI seminars.

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