Alternative Energy: It’s Hot!
The energy camp for teachers was a 15 contact hour in-service professional development workshop focused on STEM curriculum and problem based learning applied in the context of alternative energy. Dr. Marie Boyette, associate director of FLATE, described the camp as an effective resource for teachers to add to their teaching tool kit. Boyette, who has been a leading force in initiating the teacher camps since 2010 said the “teachers had fun learning how to effectively integrate STEM concepts into the everyday curriculum, all the while exploring how to use educational technologies in developing usable STEM lesson plans that would enable participants to become practitioners of problem-based/experiential learning.”
The camp was a rich storehouse of information/resources that teachers could take back to the classroom. Exercises included current technology applications for teaching energy-related curriculum, exploration and observation of LEED and solar roof applications, and other hands-on, experiential activities such as the potential and kinetic energy lessons using a solar powered grasshopper. Dennis Vallianatos, who teachers physical science, earth space and general chemistry at Lennard High School and Marcus Beard, Chemistry Honors and Physical Science teacher at East Bay High School described the camp as a good fit, as the content correlated to several parts of the course they were going to teach in the next academic year. Vallianatos and Beard agree teachers “need these kind of opportunities so we can be informed, and ensure the students we teach can stay ahead of the game.”
The FLATE-FESC partnership is part of a statewide initiative to support industries in the existing and emerging energy sectors by defining the knowledge and skills required for their technician workforce. Since 2009, FLATE has been working with community colleges across Florida to define curriculum standards for alternative energy that support industry needs. “Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE hopes “with the industry support of the FESC Advisory Committee and their community outreach programs for energy efficiency, FLATE’s partnerships with the Florida Department of Education, and the Banner Centers for Energy, Alternative Energy, Manufacturing and Construction we hope to build a comprehensive and cohesive educational and industry pathway for Florida’s new energy workforce.”
For information on FESC initiatives, contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about FLATE’s energy camp, contact Jorge Monreal at email@example.com. For information on FLATE’s professional development opportunities for teachers, contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Marie Boyette at email@example.com.