CTI Presents Bright New Ideas for Teaching About Energy

CHARLOTTE – Sept. 18, 2014 – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) teachers will share bright new ideas for teaching and learning about energy, at a Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) event for the public on Tuesday, Sept. 30, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the EnergyExplorium at McGuire Nuclear Station in Huntersville.

This “Teachers As Scholars” program features CMS teachers who collaborated on the topic “The Nature of Energy: How We Use and Store It to Power Our Everyday Lives,” and highlights innovative curriculum they developed during a long-term CTI seminar. CTI Seminar Leader Susan Trammell, professor of physics and optical science at UNC Charlotte, will also share her energy expertise at the free Sept. 30 event.

Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas and Duke Energy, the program begins with a reception and viewing of the EnergyExplorium’s exhibits from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by presentations and a panel discussion with Trammell and CTI Fellows until 8 p.m.  Space is limited, so registration at www.charlotteteachers.org is recommended.

Featured topics and teachers include:
• The Nature of Energy: How to Use and Store It to Power our Everyday Lives – Trammell
• Energy in Our World – Cindy Woolery, Science, Elizabeth Traditional Elementary School
• Cruising Continents and an Awesome Asthenosphere: How Convection and Geothermal Energy Fuel Earth’s Ever Changing Surface! – Julie Ruziska Tiddy, Science, Carmel Middle School
• Mama Did Not Take the Kodachrome Away But Charge-Coupled Devices Did – Deb Semmler, Physics, East Mecklenburg High School

The event is an outgrowth of an intensive, seven-month-long  CTI seminar Trammell led for CMS teachers in grades K-12, where they explored various forms of energy, the science behind its generation and conservation, as well as costs, benefits and concerns. CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan said, “One of CTI’s strategic goals is to provide opportunities to showcase CMS teachers’ innovative scholarship created in CTI seminars to a wider community audience. This partnership with Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy and the EnergyExplorium will serve as an important step in fulfilling this goal.”

Thirteen sets of extensive, energy-related curriculum units for grades K-12 were developed by teachers in Trammell’s seminar, designed specifically for their own students. “We hope these units inspire other teachers to share their creativity with colleagues in an effort to benefit more students in more classrooms across the district,” Gartlan said. All 13 are published on the CTI and Yale National Initiative websites.

Trammell’s seminar was one of eight CTI conducted in 2013 on a wide range of topics for a total of 97 CMS teachers from all grade levels and subject areas, led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte faculty. The units developed in all eight seminars are posted online. Currently CTI is offering another eight seminars for 2014. For more information visit: www.charlotteteachers.org.

About Charlotte Teachers Institute

The Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte initiated to strengthen teaching and learning in CMS. An affiliate of the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, CTI provides intensive, seven-month-long seminars led by Davidson and UNC Charlotte faculty where CMS teachers learn new content, work collaboratively with other district teachers, and develop curriculum units for their own classrooms. Teachers serve as leaders in the institute and choose seminar topics they deem most important and engaging for current CMS teachers and their students. Since CTI’s inception in 2009, more than 350 CMS teachers with over 70,000 students have participated in CTI seminars. CTI also reaches out to the larger community with public events such as Teachers As Scholars and the popular Exploding Canons cultural collaboration series.

CTI is made possible by a joint commitment of resources from all three Institute partners, with additional support from Piedmont Natural Gas, Duke Energy, Wells Fargo and the Belk Foundation. The institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. In 2013, CTI and its partners were recognized by the Council of Great City Schools with the Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award.

For more information, please visit charlotteteachers.org or contact CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan at 704-687-0078 or scott.gartlan@uncc.edu.