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Education
Santee Cooper provides many educational programs, materials

and opportunities for students and educators to learn more about electricity, electrical safety, environmental stewardship and much more, helping to educate our communities’ future leaders.

> More than 2,000 South Carolina K-12 teachers and administrators have completed our Energy Educators Institute, a 30-year-old graduate level course that explores the scientific concepts of energy, impact on the environment, economy and society.

Santee Cooper's mobile PHAD unit demonstrates the intricacies of power line safety by cooking a hot dog.

> Through business education partnerships, hundreds of Santee Cooper employees have mentored grade school students in reading, math and communication skills in 15 schools in Berkeley, Horry and Georgetown Counties.

> Our generating station tours introduce students to the basic process of generating electricity and to STEM careers.

> Our mobile PHAD unit provides an engaging, high-energy demonstration of the hazards of electricity and lightning to students, first responders and other groups.

> Each year Santee Cooper employees participate in numerous career days throughout Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry schools discussing the importance of education and career choices.

> Employees throughout the company serve as mentors for FIRST Robotics Teams, Mock Trial, Technology Student Association and other organizations to help students develop critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills.

> Santee Cooper offers tours of the Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie water plants to show how water is treated and moves from the lakes to the home and business pipes of more than 150,000 Lowcountry residents. Students observe water quality testing in the laboratory and see the process for treating more than 36 million gallons of water per day.

> Santee Cooper provides effective, engaging curriculum-based publications to teachers throughout the state free of charge.

> e-SMART Kids is our website that educates children about electrical safety, energy efficiency and sustainability. It has videos and interactive games, as well as tips on how to stay safe around electricity and how to use water wisely.

Green Power Solar Schools

> Launched 10 years ago, Santee Cooper’s Green Power Solar Schools’ initiative grows interest in the environment and renewable power generation by providing a solar array, science lab materials and access to monitor the array’s solar energy output to 6th grade students at schools across the state.

> In 2007, Hilton Head Middle School became the first Green Power Solar School.

 

Solar Schools
Today there are 28 Green Power Solar Schools across the state, many of those a partnership with the state’s electric cooperatives.

> We provide a 2-kW solar array at each middle school, which is connected to the internet for real-time and historical tracking of generation. Santee Cooper also provides a 6th grade energy curriculum that meets state education standards, and materials for hands-on science labs on renewable generation.

We have trained 165 teachers on Green Power Solar School curriculum and lab exercises, and these teachers in turn have taught the material to more than 75,000 students.

College and University Involvement

> In July 2006, Santee Cooper introduced solar power to the state’s electrical grid when we donated Green Power solar pavilions to Coastal Carolina University. We have also donated solar resources to the Technical College of the Lowcountry, the Applied Research Center in Aiken, Trident Technical College- Berkeley Campus, and the Center for Advanced Technical Studies in Chapin.

Power Associates former students Alfie Pineda and Brenda Lee

> Santee Cooper’s Power Associates Program is a competitive scholarship program that prepares high school graduates for rewarding technical careers in the electric utility industry. During this two-year program, students earn a technical associate degree and a competitive wage while gaining hands-on experience by working in a generating station or electrical distribution area.

> We teamed up with Clemson University and Coastal Carolina University in our pioneering wind mapping along South Carolina’s coast. We also donated a transformer to Clemson University’s Wind Turbine Test facility in North Charleston for use in grid simulation research.

> Santee Cooper and the state’s electric cooperatives announced a $5 million gift in 2009 to fund clean coal research at the University of South Carolina. The money was split between an endowment and the salaries of researchers to begin the work.

> Wofford College and Santee Cooper collaborated for several years on a lecture series focused on sustainability and energy issues for the college’s Glendale Shoals Environmental Studies Center, beginning in 2009.

> Santee Cooper has supported development of educational programs that benefit the energy industry and business in general at several other South Carolina colleges and universities, including:

  • Coastal Carolina University, $1 million for a master’s of science program in information systems technology, endowing student scholarships and providing program support
  • Francis Marion University, $150,000 towards initial costs and an endowed scholarship for a new industrial engineering degree program
  • The Citadel, $232,000 for laboratory equipment supporting a new mechanical engineering degree program
  • Horry-Georgetown Technical College, $150,000 to support an Advanced Manufacturing and Design Center
  • Trident Technical College, $150,000 for an endowed scholarship in the Division of Industrial and Engineering Technology
  • Clemson University, $30,000 in annual support plus board membership on the Electric Power Research Association
  • In-kind support to several technical colleges preparing students for careers as lineworkers and generating station associates
Environmental Intern Program

> Since 1990, Santee Cooper has hosted nearly 300 college students through our Environmental Intern Program, a competitive internship involving nomination of candidates by state and federal elected officials and the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina.

> Interns rotate through nine areas (three areas each) offering Santee Cooper environmental stewardship programs, to learn about the utility’s role in balancing generation, transmission and distribution of electricity with the opportunities and challenges of renewable energy and other matters. Areas of rotation include Air & Water Quality, Analytical & Biological Services, Coal Combustion Products & Waste Management, Investment Recovery, Property Management, Old Santee Canal Park, Renewable Energy, Right-of-Way Management, and Vector Management.

Old Santee Canal Park
Old Santee Canal Park is popular for canoeing.

> This 195-acre historical and natural jewel in the heart of Moncks Corner features an Interpretive Center, theater and classroom, and hosts schoolchildren from across the Lowcountry for field trips and educational seminars. Santee Cooper financed construction of Old Santee Canal Park, which opened in 1989, and we assumed ownership and operation of the park in 1999. The park offers environmental programs that emphasize the vast diversity of plant and animal life native to the area and found throughout the park.

> History and other educational programs offered include tours of the Stony Landing House, a circa-1843 farm house with a rich history entwined with the Lowcountry, and exhibits in the Interpretive Center chronicling the area as far back as 4000 B.C.

> The park features four miles of boardwalk and hiking trails along Biggin Creek and parallel to the Tailrace Canal. There is also a large floating dock that provides access and recreation to boaters, kayakers and canoers.

> Old Santee Canal Park is home to the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center.