Dudley-based Tri-County EMC recently hosted Erica Levai, a science teacher at James Kenan High School in Duplin County, as a 2020–2021 Kenan Fellow. In the co-op’s September newsletter, Levai provides insights about her experience:
“As an educator for the past 10 years, I understand the importance of providing students with relevant and engaging classroom experiences. The Kenan Fellows program and Tri-County EMC have provided the opportunity for me to explore the various cooperative business operations and work alongside those who build and support the electric infrastructure that powers our community. The partnership with Tri-County EMC provides the opportunity for me to bring the outside world into the classroom.”
“I have been able to see what I teach my students in action and will be able to bring those experiences back to the classroom,” Levai continued. “I will be able to show students the protective gear lineman must wear when working up in the bucket and why they must wear that protective equipment. I can also show students how electricity moves in currents. Students can solve for current, voltage, and resistance in circuits. I can teach students how to calculate the power bill for a family using differing amounts of electricity for a month. Students can also use Tri-County EMC’s Home Energy Advisor tool to analyze the energy efficiency of their home and learn how to become more energy efficient.”
“In science classes, students learn the future will bring the need for more sustainable energy. Working with the engineers of Tri-County gave me the opportunity to learn about the pros and cons of solar farms and swine farms utilizing biodigesters to turn swine waste into electricity. I will be able to take this information back to students in order to begin constructive conversations on finding solutions for creating sustainable energy.”
Her fellowship was made possible through a partnership between Tri-County EMC, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership based at N.C. State University.