College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

STEM Exploration Continues with Another Year of Duke Energy Science Nights


Schools across eligible regions of South Carolina will celebrate SC STEM Education Month 2024 in a special way. Thanks to a partnership between Duke Energy, South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science (SCCMS), and the Morehead Planetarium and 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 third year after a highly successful debut in 2022. In 2024, the program continues to grow as 50 schools will be hosting events that will provide the opportunity for students and their families to engage in hands-on science learning activities.
The Duke Energy Foundation funds this project through a grant which provides activity kits to 50 qualifying schools in an effort to eliminate barriers and provide hands-on STEM learning.

“Programs like this reinforce 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 science and engineering 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 and Science Center’s NCSciFest team in collaboration with SCCMS staff. Kit contents include activity guides, materials for 200 students to engage in 10 activities, downloadable digital resources (including Spanish language versions), promotional materials, and virtual support, all at no cost to the schools. SCCMS provides support by facilitating the application process and communication with schools which includes planning support leading up to the spring events.

List of participating schools for 2024:

Varennes Elementary, Anderson
Marshall Primary, Belton
Bennettsville Intermediate, Bennettsville
Blacksburg Elementary, Blacksburg
Buffalo Elementary, Buffalo
Camden Elementary, Camden
Pine Tree Hill Elementary, Camden
Edwards Elementary, Chesterfield
Eastside Elementary, Clinton
Clio Elementary, Clio
St. John’s Elementary, Darlington
J.L. Cain Elementary, Darlington
Crosswell Elementary, Easley
Savannah Grove Elementary, Effingham
McLaurin Elementary, Florence
Greenwood Elementary, Florence
North Vista Elementary, Florence
Northwest Elementary, Gaffney
Limestone-Central Elementary, Gaffney
Sampit Elementary, Georgetown
Welcome Elementary, Greenville
Robert E. Cashion Elementary, Greenville
Alexander Elementary, Greenville
Eleanor S. Rice Elementary, Greenwood
Heath Springs Elementary, Heath Springs
Hemingway Elementary, Hemingway
Kershaw Elementary, Kershaw
Kenneth Gardner Leadership Academy, Kingstree
Easterling Primary, Marion
McCormick Elementary, Mullins
Newberry Elementary, Newberry
Boundary Street Elementary, Newberry
Olanta Creative Arts and Science Magnet School, Olanta
Hannah Pamplico Elementary/Middle, Pamplico
West Pelzer Elementary, Pelzer
Grove Elementary, Piedmont
West Lee Elementary, Rembert
Geiger Elementary, Ridgeway
Saluda Elementary, Saluda
Scranton Elementary STEAM Academy, Scranton
Blue Ridge Elementary, Seneca
Meeting Street Academy, Spartanburg
Spartanburg Preparatory, Spartanburg
Fairforest Elementary, Spartanburg
Foster Park Elementary, Union
Monarch Elementary, Union
James M. Brown Elementary, Walhalla
Wallace Elementary/Middle, Wallace
Ware Shoals Primary, Ware Shoals
Cotton Belt Elementary, York

In the coming weeks, school staff members will be planning the event details and preparing for a great time of family engagement with a focus on STEM. When reflecting on past success and planning for this year’s event, Asheland Price, kindergarten teacher at Pine Tree Elementary, said, “We have had a wonderful turn out in the past at the Duke Energy Science Night event. I love this event because parents and students get to learn and work together to create engaging science projects. The excitement that I see during this event is like nothing we experience at other school events. Children and parents working as a team, enjoying each other, learning and having fun together in a great environment is priceless! Parents look forward to this night just as much or more than the kids!”

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, 2024) 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, said, “Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics create incredible possibilities in our increasingly electrified world. Duke Energy Science Night presents a wonderful opportunity for families in these communities to spark their interest and feel like they belong in STEM.”

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