College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Duke Energy Science Nights Return to Highlight STEM Education Month


Schools across eligible regions of South Carolina will celebrate STEM Education Month 2023 in a special way.

Thanks to a partnership between Duke Energy, South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science (SCCMS), and the Morehead Planetarium Science Center, selected schools will host a fun, hands-on science event for students and their families as part of the annual month-long celebration.

Duke Energy Science Nights return to South Carolina schools for a second year after a highly successful debut in 2022. In the spring of 2022, 30 schools hosted science night events that engaged nearly 7,000 student and family attendees in fun, hands-on STEM learning.

Feedback from last year included gratitude and excitement from participating schools along with numerous requests to make the program an annual offering.

The kits were made possible through a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to award 40 qualifying schools with kits in an effort to eliminate barriers and provide hands on STEM learning activities.

“Programs like this reinforces our company’s commitment to create a more vibrant economy by investing in our future workforce early on,” said Amanda Dow, foundation manager for Duke Energy in South Carolina. “We know firsthand that STEM is the backbone to many career opportunities, including those here at Duke Energy and we’re proud to support these students and schools.”

The kits are produced by the Morehead Planetarium Science Center’s NCSciFest team in collaboration with SCCMS staff. Kit contents include activity guides, materials for 200 students, downloadable digital resources (including Spanish language versions), promotional materials, and virtual support, all at no cost to the schools.

List of participating schools:

Westwood Elementary School, Abbeville
Nevitt Forest Elementary School, Anderson
Varennes Elementary School, Anderson Bennettsville Intermediate School, Bennettsville
Buffalo Elementary School, Buffalo
Pine Tree Hill Elementary School, Camden
Chester Park Center of Literacy Through Technology, Chester
Edwards Elementary School, Chesterfield
Clio Elementary School, Clio
Delmae Elementary School, Florence
Corinth Elementary School, Gaffney
Sampit Elementary School, Georgetown
Greeleyville Primary School, Greeleyville
Alexander Elementary School, GreenvilleEleanor S. Rice Elementary, Greenwood
Jonesville Elementary/Middle School, Jonesville
Kenneth Gardner Elementary School, Kingstree
Lake City Early Childhood Center of the Arts, Lake City
Clinton Elementary School, Lancaster
Creek Bridge STEM Academy, Marion
Easterling Primary School, Marion
McColl Elementary Middle School, McColl
McCormick Elementary School, Mullins
Boundary Street Elementary School, Newberry
Reuben Elementary School, Newberry
Olanta Creative Arts and Science Magnet School, Olanta
Hannah Pamplico Elementary Middle School, Pamplico
West Pelzer Elementary School, West Pelzer
Geiger Elementary School, Ridgeway
Rock Hill Schools, Rock Hill
Saluda Elementary School, Saluda
Scranton Elementary STEAM Academy, Scranton
Blue Ridge Elementary School, Seneca
Drayton Mills Elementary School, Spartanburg
Spartanburg Preparatory School, Spartanburg
Spartanburg School District 6, Spartanburg
Starr Elementary School, Starr
Ware Shoals Primary School, Ware Shoals
Foster Park Elementary School, Union
Cotton Belt Elementary School, York

In the coming weeks, school staff members are planning the event details and preparing for a great time of family engagement with a focus on Science and STEM.

Rita Woodley, third grade teacher at Cotton Belt Elementary in York, is coordinating the Science Night event at her school for the second consecutive year.

In a recent planning webinar, she shared, “It was such an amazing experience last year!  We can’t wait to do it again this year.”

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math and is widely viewed as crucial to preparing students for jobs of the future, particularly in South Carolina, where advanced manufacturing has become a cornerstone of the economy.

STEM Education Month, launching on Pi Day (March 14, 2023), is sponsored by South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science, which is part of Clemson University’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.

Tom Peters, executive director of the coalition, states, “Everyone has a story to tell about joy and challenge as they experience science, technology, engineering and mathematics in places of learning and in everyday life. During STEM Education Month we highlight these stories. We can’t wait to hear your STEM stories when Duke Energy Science Night comes to your hometown!”

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