PowerSouth, the Cooperatives, and NEED hit it out of the park again this year at the Empower conference in Destin, FL. Teachers from Southern Alabama and Northern Florida gathered from June 13-16 at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa for three days of non-stop learning, camaraderie, fun, and delicious food.
The Empower conference began the afternoon of the 13th with greetings from Power South and NEED and then participants immediately were split into groups for Science of Energy activities. The teachers were actively engaged in hands on learning as they interacted with materials that will be used to teach the Forms of Energy. They finished the afternoon with an Energy Carnival, Exhibits, and a Reception. Each attendee received a box of teaching goodies from their individual Cooperative as they checked in and they received a Science of Energy Kit to take with them at the end of the conference.
The 14th began early with breakfast at 7:30 a.m.and a breakout session beginning at 8:30 a.m. Teachers continued with their in-depth study of energy as they were invited to use the information they learned on Wednesday about the Forms of Energy to access information on the ten main sources of energy used in the U.S. The teachers were able to choose a specific source as one of their breakout sessions. Several of the sources covered were Oil and Gas, Hydroelectric, Solar, Coal, and Nuclear. Groups of teachers made generators during another one of the sessions. To end the day, Power South and the Cooperatives again made the teachers feel valued with a fantastic buffet dinner which included: Prime Rib, Chicken and Grouper, and all the fixings. Yum!
Friday continued the learning with concepts of the role of energy in our world with the participants being broken into “country” groups and learning about their country’s technology, workforce, energy, and natural resources. They then were asked to make sure every country was able to have the resources they needed. They were able to trade any or all of the resources and work together to achieve their goal…a great civics lesson combined with science. Efficiency and Conservation were also topics as teams built Energy Houses, made themed Expo Boards, learned about electricity and circuits, and performed plays and skits.
Throughout the conference, teachers were continually pushed out of their comfort zones as they interacted with new curriculum, explored new concepts, and were sorted into different groups to explore, network, and engage. Thank you to NEED, PowerSouth, and the Cooperatives for an innovative summer teacher’s conference.
Check out some of the amazing photos that were taken as the conference went on at: https://need-media.smugmug.com/Empower2018/