DelTech holds STEM Educator Energy Institute

Polytech High School teacher Dionne Wicks, left, and Sussex Technical High School teacher Michele Thomas watch a solar-powered car they built take off down the sidewalk. Ms. Wicks and Ms. Thomas were among 17 middle school and high school teachers to attend a STEM Educator Energy Institute held by Delaware Tech. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — Faculty from Delaware Technical Community College’s energy department, working with the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (CREATE) and the National Science Foundation, hosted a STEM Educator Energy Institute for 17 middle school and high school teachers from across Delaware.

The goal of the professional development institute, held Aug. 6-8 on the college’s Terry Campus in Dover, was to share general information on energy efficiency and have participating teachers learn effective and engaging ways to teach sustainable energy principles to their students.

Participants engaged in a variety of classroom sessions and hands-on activities, including the building of mini solar-powered cars, measuring solar radiation with a pyranometer, and working with solar panels to measure open circuit potential and short circuit current.

Dr. Jennifer Clemons, energy technologies department chair, was the catalyst for bringing the institute to Delaware Tech. Dr. Clemons attended a similar event in Wisconsin and wanted to bring that same opportunity to interested educators in Delaware.

Sussex Technical High School teacher Mike Milspaw, left, takes current measurements from a solar panel while Middletown High School teacher Newton Rennie records the measurements during a STEM Educator Energy Institute held by Delaware Tech. (Submitted photo)

In addition to sharing information on energy efficiency and providing teaching tools, the three-day institute also provided an opportunity to showcase the college’s energy management, renewable energy solar, and building automation systems associate degree programs.

“Participating teachers had the opportunity to work inside our state-of-the-art labs and gain a greater understanding for the quality education Delaware Tech students receive, and the vast array of opportunities available to our graduates,” said Dr. Clemons. “It is my hope these teachers will be advocates for our programs.”

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