Santee Cooper provides virtual field trips and lessons for students

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – State owned utility company, Santee Cooper, is changing the way it’s getting involved in education this year.

The company has provided educational opportunities and resources to students for 30 years. Since the coronavirus outbreak may keep most children out of the classroom this year, Santee Cooper is expanding virtually.

The educational program is run by two former teachers; Brandy Incorvia and Anna Strickland. During the initial coronavirus outbreak, the two created a few virtual activities for teachers to finish out the year with.

It was mid-summer, when they started creating more detailed virtual lessons for all grade levels, from elementary to high school. Lesson plans, virtual field trips, interactive games and at-home experiments are also aligned with state educational standards.

High school students may also earn credits with the virtual career-shadowing opportunities.

Incorvia, one of the administrators for Santee Cooper’s educational program, hopes the resources provided will be helpful for both students and teachers.

“Whenever they can have somebody come outside – in to reinforce what the teachers are already saying – it kind of clicks,” Incorvia explained. “We are in no way trying to replace teachers because we know the teachers are doing an amazing job. We’re just there to enhance the experience for students and for the teachers.”

For the first time in 30 years, Santee Cooper was forced to cancel the annual Energy Educators Institute. The institute is a three-week course where teachers across the state come together to learn about real-world scientific concepts of energy that relate to their course curriculum.

Now new virtual lessons and activities will continuously be provided for teachers throughout the school year. The middle and high school lessons are more geared toward science and history teachers.

Incorvia told News13 how teaching virtually is a new skill some teachers are adjusting to. which is why she’s hosting a virtual training for teachers to learn how to navigate the online platform.

“It’s very easy for them to plug in, instead of them having to come up with their own lesson,” Incorvia said. “We think this is going to help them out a lot.  Not everyone was trained to be a virtual teacher. Some of them are having some difficulty moving over so, that’s what we’re hoping to kind of help.”

Throughout creating lesson plans, Incorvia said she’s enjoyed receiving feedback from teachers on ways to improve lessons for each grade level.

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