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Summer Camp for Educators

July 29, 2015   By Nicole Aiello in Education

When you send your children to summer camp, you expect that they'll learn some new skills and return to you a little bit smarter than when they left. You also want them to have some fun and make new friends. At Santee Cooper, we offer something similar, but it's for adults only.

Santee Cooper's Energy Educators Institute is an interactive, graduate-level course accredited through Charleston Southern University for certified South Carolina K-12 teachers and administrators. It's a three-week course during the summer that includes an in-person element, where educators explore firsthand the scientific concepts of energy, including its sources, uses and impact on the environment, economy and society.

During the first and third weeks, participants will interact and complete assignments online. During the second week, however, the program gets more hands on with a required four-day residential stay so participants can immerse themselves in the subject of energy. The groups of educators stay at Santee Cooper's Wampee Conference Center on Lake Moultrie in Pinopolis. It's kind of like summer camp for teachers where, you guessed it, they return a bit smarter than when they left and with new skills, while having some fun. They also make new friends, although we tend to call that networking as adults.

During their stay, these teachers and administrators get a chance to learn about energy efficiency and conservation, the opportunities and challenges of renewable energy like solar and wind power, environmental resources, water quality and, of course, the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. They also get a front-row seat for the Santee Cooper Power Hazard Awareness Demonstration (PHAD), where they learn the importance electrical safety. Field trips to generation stations and boat tours are also on the menu, as is the Wampee staff's famous and delicious pound cake.

This summer's educators, 75 of them in all, completed their in-person training the weeks of July 6, July 13 and July 20. And while the Energy Educators Institute may be wrapping up, the hands-on experience will leave lasting impressions on educators. And those lessons will live on in their students.