Coweta-Fayette EMC partners with Coweta Schools to host Alternative Energy Adventure

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Pictured above … CCSS teachers at the Georgia Tech Kendeda Building on Day 1 of the Alternative Energy Summer Adventure.

From Special Reports

With hopes to provide a fun and educational experience centered around the growing demand of alternative energy options, Coweta-Fayette EMC (CFEMC) partnered with Coweta County School System (CCSS) to host its first-ever Alternative Energy Summer Adventure.

The summer adventure provided a three-day experience for local teachers, specifically in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Held from July 20-22, the hands-on program offered dynamic, in-person sessions with valuable insight into the future of green energy, sustainability, and innovation.

“This program has allowed us to grow as educators,” said Elizabeth Lozano-Hensley, Newnan High School teacher. “Teachers enjoy being students because when we learn new things, we go back and teach it to our classroom. That’s a very valuable experience to us – and to the students – because we’re continuing to learn and pass it on!”

More than 30 educators from CCSS representing the following schools participated in the interactive tour, which focused on the rising demand for renewable energy: Arnall Middle School, Blake Bass Middle School, Central Educational Center, East Coweta High School, Evans Middle School, Lee Middle School, Madras Middle School, Newnan Crossing Elementary School, Newnan High School, Northgate High School, Poplar Road Elementary School, Smokey Road Middle School, Thomas Crossroads Elementary School, and Welch Elementary School.

“I’m extremely excited to see this collaboration between our EMC and the Coweta schools,” CFEMC CEO Chris Stephens said. “The future of the energy industry is changing. Not only will this experience bring new opportunities to the classroom, this partnership will help equip and engage our future workforce.”

During the first two days, teachers hit the road to learn about electric vehicles (EVs), solar energy, sustainability efforts, and battery storage capabilities, while the last day was spent analyzing the SPARK Energy Education Program from Green Power EMC. On the first day of the program, teachers visited the Georgia Tech Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, Georgia’s first-ever Living Building, to learn about how energy efficiency and innovative thinking can transform future generations. They also visited Historic Fourth Ward Park and BMVW Auto Sales, an (EV) dealership, to learn about sustainability efforts and clean and green energy.

“It was a pleasure to have this opportunity to see the innovative aspects of the world around us, such as the local lumber used at the Kendeda Building or the impact of the environment at the water treatment plant in the public park,” said Tim Johnson, Lee Middle School teacher. “The Historic Fourth Ward Park was amazing to see because it showed me what it has done economically for the surrounding area. I can take that back to my kids and talk about modern Georgia.”

While touring on the second day of the program, teachers spent the day learning about the importance of solar energy in STEM education while visiting CFEMC’s Michael C. Whiteside Electric Solar Plant and Camp Southern Ground’s Solar Farm. They also learned about green homes, energy efficiency, and geothermal capabilities at the Town of Trilith.

“I teach physical science, so this has given me new material to teach my students about solar energy and be able to make it fun and interactive!” said Sharon Curtis, Smokey Road Middle School teacher. “I just want to thank Coweta-Fayette EMC for this experience and for giving me another way to impart tangible lessons. I’ve been teaching for 24 years, so this has helped me stay in the know and understand current topics.”

Teachers wrapped up the third day with hands-on experiments from trying out the SPARK Energy Education Program and learning how to incorporate them into future lesson plans before participating in an EV driving experience. Teachers also heard about CFEMC’s mission and commitment to green energy initiatives from CEO Chris Stephens.

“The three-day Alternative Energy Summer Adventure provided the opportunity to exchange ideas on renewable energy and sustainability, as well as develop student curriculum focused on the future of energy production,” said Jimmy Adams, VP or Energy Services. “This on-going partnership will benefit the students of the Coweta County Schools, as well as all members of Coweta-Fayette EMC.”

Johnson also had this to say about the program. “I would go through this program again in a second! This will be year 32 of teaching for me, and I’m still excited about learning new things! This hands-on program has recharged me as an educator and made me enthusiastic about energy!”

CFEMC plans to continue offering the Alternative Energy Summer Adventure program in the future for local educators to learn about the importance and growing demand of alternative energy options.

CCSS teachers pictured during the EV Driving Experience on Day 3 of the Alternative Energy Summer adventure.

CCSS teachers pictured at the Michael C. Whiteside Solar Electric Plant on Day 2 of the Atlernative Energy Summer Adventure.

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