Energy in Today’s Classroom celebrates 10 years energizing educators
For 20 teachers from Missouri and Iowa, the 2022-23 school year started a few weeks early at the University of Missouri-Columbia for Electricity 101 — cooperative style. Their class marked the 10th year of Energy in Today’s Classroom, a two-day course organized by Central Electric Power Cooperative and the University of Missouri designed to prepare elementary, middle and high school teachers for teaching energy and electricity to the next generation.
The class not only provides teachers with lesson plan ideas but also an hour of graduate course credit. Presentations by Central and Associated Electric Cooperative cover methods of power generation, transmission and distribution. University professors and representatives from Ameren Missouri cover topics including energy sources, efficiency, production and economics.
Teachers received a demonstration of electric vehicles and completed a circuitry project. A highlight of the class is seeing different methods of power generation in action. Attendees toured the power plant at Mizzou, where the power portfolio is made up of coal, natural gas, biomass, solar and wind energy. Teachers returned home with a box of teaching aids provided by Central Electric Power and 16 other sponsoring electric co-ops.
Educators are excited to take what they’ve learned back to their classrooms. “We’ve been putting together a physical sciences course for our incoming freshman, so we really needed material and ideas for that course,” says Suzanne Kercher, a biology and chemistry teacher sponsored by Laclede Electric Cooperative who is part of the curriculum team for the Camdenton R-III School District. She added that she learned a few things about the energy industry from the program. “I liked the focus on Missouri and learning about the co-ops versus the investor-owned businesses. I didn’t know all of the details of that coming into the class.”