Exploding Canons: Sustainability in Charlotte and Beyond – 10/16/12

Charlotte Teachers Institute’s “Exploding Canons” speakers series sets its sights on sustainable living in an interdisciplinary panel discussion and information expo on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 from 5:30 to 9 p.m., at UNC Charlotte Center City at 320 E. 9thStreet.

Academic and community experts from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds will examine the topic of sustainability, at the “Sustainability in Charlotte and Beyond” event. Sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas with support from the Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place, the event is free and open to the public.

“The breadth of speakers on this Exploding Canons panel reflects the relation of sustainability to many aspects of life,” said CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan. “The expo will present a wide representation of organizations and businesses who are working diligently to address current needs without compromising the needs of future generations. This will be a great opportunity for the community to connect with academic experts in a variety of fields, as well as get practical information about daily living and viable business choices.”

The event begins with a reception and information expo in the atrium at 5:30 p.m., followed by the panel discussion from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the auditorium. The panel includes faculty from Davidson College, UNC Charlotte, Wake Forest University and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Follow-up conversation, coffee and the expo continue after the panel discussion until 9 p.m.  Space is limited, so registration at http://charlotteteachers.org is recommended. CMS teachers and administrators from all grade levels and subject areas are especially encouraged to attend.

Featured topics and speakers include:

  • “The Politics of Sustainability,” Graham Bullock, assistant professor of political science and environmental studies, Davidson College
  • “The Business Case for Sustainability,” Dan Fogel, executive professor of business and associate director of the Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, Wake Forest University
  • “Air Quality: When the ‘Top Ten’ is Not the Goal,” Cindy DeForest Hauser, associate professor of chemistry, Davidson College
  • “Visualizing Alternative Futures of Urbanization and Sustainable Growth,” Ross Meentemeyer, professor of geography and earth sciences and executive director of the Center for Applied Geographic Information Science, UNC Charlotte
  • “Small Changes/Big Results: Creating a Positive Impact on the Environment,” Jashonai Payne, 5th grade teacher, Clear Creek Elementary School; and Deb Semmler, physics teacher, East Mecklenburg High School
  • “New Materials for Modern Infrastructure,” Brett Tempest, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, UNC Charlotte

Rob Phocas, energy and sustainability manager for the City of Charlotte, will serve as moderator for the panel discussion.

Participating groups in the information expo include Catawba River District, Center for Sustainability/Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, Charlotte Nature Museum, City of Charlotte, Clean Air Carolina, Davidson College’s Office of Sustainability, Discovery Place, Duke Energy – Smart Energy Now, Envision Charlotte, Friendship Gardens, Garinger High School Fit and Green, Juice from Juice, McColl Center for Visual Art, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Greenway Program, Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Services (Wipe Out Waste), North Carolina Air Awareness, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, Piedmont Natural Gas , Project for Innovation, Energy and Sustainability – North Carolina (PiES), Queen City Forward, Sustain Charlotte, UNC Charlotte Levine Scholars Program, UNC Charlotte’s Office of Sustainability, US Green Buildings Council – Charlotte Region Chapter, and others.

The “Exploding Canons” speakers series leverages the partnerships among CTI to offer educators and the public collaborative educational opportunities that highlight university and college faculty, explore diverse topics in an interdisciplinary manner, and encourage community conversation.

About the Charlotte Teachers Institute

The Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte that works to improve teaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools. An affiliate of the Yale National Initiative at Yale University, CTI cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. Programs include long-term seminars and special events for teachers, as well as community presentations. CTI’s “Exploding Canons” events engage and educate CMS teachers and the community-at-large, as CTI and a variety of partnering organizations produce forums for college and university faculty and other educators to examine topics through multi-disciplinary lenses.

CTI programs are made possible by a joint commitment of resources from all three Institute partners and through the generosity of private funding institutions such as the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, and the Wells Fargo Foundation. The institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Currently, 102 CMS teachers in grades K-12 are enrolled in eight, multidisciplinary seminars that began in the spring and continue until December. The seminars’ weekly meetings recess during the summer, while teachers immerse themselves in reading and research related to curriculum units they are developing for their students. These curriculum units generate learning beyond each teacher’s classroom, as the final units are shared with teachers’ school colleagues and are also published on the CTI and Yale National Initiative websites, making them accessible to teachers worldwide.


For more information, contact CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan, 704-687-2026, info@charlotteteachers.org