Upstate teachers earn graduate credits


EnlightenSC course participants use an Energy Stick for a conductivity experiment. When teachers close the circuit while holding the stick, the stick makes a sound to demonstrate a closed circuit. If any teacher removes their hand, the circuit is open, and the stick does not show a conduction of electricity.


Two Upstate teachers went back to school this fall enlightened by a free graduate-level course sponsored by South Carolina’s electric cooperatives.

Jennifer Marchbanks of R.H. Gettys Middle School in Easley and Stephanie Hudson of Westside High School in Anderson completed the 2019 Institute on Energy, Economics and the Environment: a STEM Graduate Course, held June 9-July 2 in the Columbia area. Part of the cooperatives’ EnlightenSC educational program, the course provides teachers an opportunity to explore energy use in S.C. and examine how communities are impacted by the availability of energy resources. Teachers receive three hours of graduate credit for re-certification upon completion of the course.

Each June since 2013, South Carolina’s electric co-ops have sponsored this accredited graduate-level course free of charge to the state’s K-12 teachers. Through in-class sessions, field trips and independent work, participants learn the basics of how electric power is created and distributed. They develop project-based lessons that support both STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and Common Core standards integrating economics, energy and environmental issues.

Visit to learn more about the program and to view lesson plans and tools for educators.