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The Center for Advanced Technical Studies hosts Clean Energy Technology Showcase

Chapin, SC – The Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) hosted the Advanced Career Clean Energy Technology Showcase in partnership with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). The Center was the first school in the nation to adopt the SREB’s Clean Energy Technology curriculum which prepares students to be college and career ready through 100% project-based courses. This is the second year The Center has hosted this innovative showcase.

Attendees came from a variety of fields including educators, school administrators, government agencies, law makers, state representatives, and industry partners to learn more about the Clean Energy Technology (CET) program. Five students at The Center had the opportunity to demonstrate their Clean Energy projects.

Dutch Fork High School senior Bryan Tran, who showed participants how to turn waste biomass into a carbon negative fuel source remarked, "It was fun to educate others about topics that I have learned from taking the Clean Energy classes at The Center."

Visitors rotated through five stations as students presented and discussed their work and findings. The projects included: making an electronic bike, creating energy pellets from biomass, mitigating the heat island by finding the most cooling roof materials, real versus advertised capacity and capacity fade of lithium-ion batteries, and making biodiesel from used cooking oil.

Clean Energy Instructor Patrick Smallwood said, “We have students enrolled in the CET program at The Center that are extremely passionate about their classwork and the field of clean and renewable energy. It is refreshing to serve as the instructor for classes that students enjoy so much that they arrive to class early and don't mind staying late after the bell!”

SREB and South Carolina developed the Clean Energy Technology curriculum as part of a multi-state effort to improve career and technical education in the country. In partnership with industry leaders, SREB created curriculum in each state in their consortium for growing fields based on industry needs. South Carolina led the effort for Clean Energy Technology.

Since the program’s inception, The Center has had a productive mutual relationship with SREB in developing the Advanced Career Clean Energy Technology pathway. The Center was not only the first site in the nation to adopt the curriculum, but piloted and field tested all four CET courses. The Center also now serves as the national training site for teachers from across the country who attend training each summer.

“When you have a teacher like Patrick, it’s a phenomenal benefit certainly to your students and your District, but also to us because we were able to get feedback that we could really use and use to shape future projects as we continued to create courses,” explained Zachary Riffell, Co-Director, Advanced Career at SREB. “We wouldn’t have what we have today without the work that’s gone on here at the District Five Center for Advanced Technical Studies.”

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