On Nov. 12, a teacher workshop was held at the Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative office. The workshop was funded by a $40,400 American Electric Power Foundation grant that Kentucky Power presented to the Kentucky National Energy Education Development (NEED) project last month.

Officials with the NEED project said that since 1980, the organization has worked with thousands of partners across the country to design energy education programs that fit their needs. The Kentucky NEED project, they said, supports K-12 energy education and provides workshops for teachers, grade-appropriate curriculum materials and kits for energy activities in the classroom. NEED also assists schools in forming student energy teams that study how energy is used in schools and implements programs to help reduce energy consumption.

“Kentucky Power has been supporting the NEED program in Kentucky for over 10 years,” said Karen Reagor, the state director of Kentucky NEED project. “The support from Kentucky Power and the AEP Foundation will enable us to continue providing energy education curriculum and hands-on kits for schools in the 20-county Kentucky Power service region. Teachers will receive training and resources that support academic standards on the topic of energy. Students will be provided opportunities to become energy leaders in their schools and communities. We appreciate the support and look forward to continuing our relationship with Kentucky Power and AEP,” she continued.

Reagor led the workshop, which provided area teachers with hands-on STEM professional development to bring energy lessons into their classrooms. A variety of topics were discussed throughout the workshop.

To start the event, the group was introduced to NEED and the NEED Curriculum Matrix. During “The Science of Energy – Form and Transformations,” participants learned about the forms of energy and energy transformations while using resources in the NEED Science of Energy kit. Afterwards, “Sources of Energy: Renewables and Nonrenewables – Energy Enigma” was held, where they used reading, brainstorming and organizational skills to work in teams and conceal the identity of their energy teams’ source while trying to guess which energy source the other teams represent.

In the “Generation of Electricity” portion of the workshop, participants demonstrated the generation of electricity while identifying energy transformations that occur during the generation process. The group attendees were introduced to solar energy, how we use it and how it is used to generate electricity during “Solar Activities.” The group also discussed how energy costs are an increasing burden on school budgets, and that by implementing energy smart behaviors, districts can manage their energy consumption and redirect savings accrued to other areas and necessities during the “Energy Efficiency and Conservation: Engaging your students in Energy Education” portion.

Officials with Kentucky Power said that funding projects like NEED is one way they can support the communities they serve as a partner for progress in eastern Kentucky, and hope to continue to support them in that way.

“Kentucky Power and the AEP Foundation support improving lives through education,” said Kentucky Power President Brett Mattison. “By helping teachers, we are helping students and investing in our communities and the future of Eastern Kentucky.”

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