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Duke Energy Foundation Supports Middle School Trans-disciplinary STEM Initiative with $25,000 Grant

posted Jun 5, 2017, 6:10 AM by Deb Wickliffe   [ updated Jun 5, 2017, 6:14 AM ]
The School District of Oconee County (SDOC) has received a $25,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to support the district’s Middle School Trans-disciplinary STEM Initiative.

“This grant will allow us to expand our STEM professional development at the middle school level, which will ensure that the district is providing quality instruction to all students,” said Jodie Shirley, STEM specialist for SDOC.

The grant will enable the district to offer middle school teachers the intensive STEM training provided by Discovery Education that is focused on implementation and evaluation.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with the school district in such a worthy and successful program,” said Emily DeRoberts,
government and community relations manager for Duke Energy.

“We are grateful that the Duke Energy Foundation continues to support our efforts. This new funding will be spent on expanding our STEM work in the middle schools and on providing professional development for teachers,” said Ginger Hopkins, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.

The district recognizes that STEM is the future of the country and provides the best career options for our students. On a recent top ten list of the most growing occupations, eight are STEM occupations. Preparing SDOC students for the future means STEM is not only important, it is critical.

“Our goal as a district is to become a state and national leader in preparing students for college and career success in a global society,” said Dr. Michael Thorsland, district superintendent. “We are grateful to Duke Energy for their contribution and support of this vision. These are difficult budget times and we are extremely thankful the Duke Energy Foundation selected the School District of Oconee County to receive this grant.” Thorsland said.

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Pictured above L to R:  Dr. Michael Thorsland, Emily DeRoberts, and Ginger Hopkins