Summer 2023 Course



Schedule of Class

Week 1: June 11 – 16

  • We will spend Sunday, June 11th – Friday, June 16th on The University of South Carolina Campus.
  • All on-campus housing and food costs are covered.
  • Information and directions to field trips will be handed out/discussed the first morning of class.

Week 2: June 18 – 24 

  • Week 2 involves independent readings, speaker reflection papers, home energy audit, development of individual blog posts and research for your final curriculum unit.
  • Virtual advising on any class assignment is available.

Week 3: June 25 – July 1

  • Week 3 involves turning in secondary blog posts and your home energy audit.
  • Continue working on curriculum units.
  • Virtual advising on any class assignment is available.

Week 4: July 2 – July 8

  • Your primary assignment is to complete your individual curriculum units.
  • Each curriculum unit must have a minimum of 3-5 lessons included with appropriate activities and attachments.
  • Dr. Dickes will be available for consultation online as needed.

Week 5: July 9 – July 14

  • Your curriculum units are due Sunday, July 9.  This is your last week of class so please turn in any assignments that you may have missed. 

Assignment Due Dates- ALL Final assignments are due on the day and time listed below.

Wednesday, June 21 – midnight Speaker reflection papers due
Friday, July 7 – 5:00 p.m. Home energy audit and reflection paper due
Primary Post due – Friday, June 23rd- midnight

Secondary Post due – Monday, July 3rd- midnight

Blog posts on readings due
Sunday – July 9 – midnight Final curriculum units due

Academic Credit

Three graduate hours from the University of South Carolina will be awarded based on your successful completion of this course. Due to the shortened nature of this course, attendance in synchronous Zoom sessions along with participation in asynchronous sessions is mandatory.

Registration and Fees

While the course tuition is free for the participants, students are required to apply to the Graduate School as non-degree seeking students with The University of South Carolina to receive the graduate credit which will be reflected on one’s official transcript. The course accommodates a maximum of 25 students.

  • If accepted, a $100 registration fee (refundable after successful completion of the course) is required.
  • Students are required to pay the $50 ($15 if you are already in the University system) application fee required by The University of South Carolina. This fee is non-refundable.
  • Housing accommodations and food while on campus are covered by the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina.
  • Participants will be notified of their acceptance status by email.

Course Description

Integration of economics, energy and environmental concepts across the middle level and high school science and math curriculum is the primary focus of this course.

Energy and Environmental issues have become increasingly salient as nations and communities reel from the effects of extreme weather and climate events like drought, flooding, record heat years, hurricanes, and others. As well, questions about how best to invest, use, allocate, and manage our nations and the globe’s natural resources are increasingly prevalent. Legislators at every level of government, local government officials and many other organizations find themselves absorbed in diverse energy and environmental issues from solar and wind power to flooding to our changing demand for electric vehicles, amongst many others. In this rapidly changing environment, understanding the intersection of economics, energy and environmental decision making is increasingly critical for our youth.

This course will show science, math, and other enrichment teachers in the middle and high school grades how to integrate economic fundamentals across energy and environmental curriculum. Economics is a critical part of understanding the use, value, and management of any natural resource, and energy is no exception. Incorporating economics into energy and environmental topics broadens students’ understanding of the science of energy by incorporating critical economic variables like reliability, affordability, sustainability, and others. The choices any society makes about how and which energy sources to invest in creates short-run and long-run economic consequences for individuals, firms, and nations that will last generations.

Specifically, this course will help teachers use economic concepts to provide their students with a more complete understanding of energy and related environmental issues. Specific economic concepts will be applied in classroom activities that demonstrate the role of economics across the field of energy and the environment more broadly. Printed materials, videos, podcasts and other on-line sources will be used to show teachers the many options available to them as they organize their own lessons integrating economics and energy into their courses. Lectures, hands-on class activities, discussions, guest speakers and other “project-based” complementary approaches to achieving these outcomes will be used.

This course will take place both in person and asynchronously online over 5 weeks.  Teachers will be required to complete several asynchronous learning assignments in weeks 3-5, with final lesson and unit plans due in week 5. This will involve listening and reflecting on several podcasts, completion of a personal energy audit and finally developing their own curriculum unit, with a minimum of 3-5 lessons plans.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course students will be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and describe the different energy sources available and utilized across South Carolina and the world.
  2. Understand trends and changing patterns in energy consumption and use in South Carolina and the world.
  3. Classify and compare the costs and benefits of different energy sources related to their reliability, affordability and environmental stewardship.
  4. Apply economic decision-making concepts, like scarcity, costs/benefits, supply and demand, and others to the field of energy and related environmental issues.
  5. Develop project-based lessons that support both STEM and Common Core Standards integrating economics, energy and environmental issues.