County teachers learn on the job

In this photo taken at Wayne Farms, Drew Scott and Jessica Shelton, teachers form Surry Central High School, hold baby chicks.

This photo features Cortney Goins from Meadowview Magnet Middle, Arlene Vernon of Nester Hosiery, and Heather Stafford from Central Middle. Vernon is showing the various types of socks produced at Nester Hosiery.

A Chick-fil-A official discusses the importance of consistency to teachers Penny Hendrix of Rockford Elementary and Myra Combs of North Surry.

A new technology being used by a local electric service provider has the potential to help teachers evolve their curriculum to help students and business.

“Smart meters allow us to provide our members with new tools to better manage their energy use and lower their bills.” Greg Puckett, general manager of Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Coop. He was talking about a program called Smarthub, which is an online tool that enables individuals and businesses to see their energy usage during any given hour.

Smarthub was designed through an investment co-op with the Kenan Fellowship and Surry-Yadkin Electric, to provide user with awareness of their energy use by the use of graphs.

The graphs show how much energy a customer uses within the day, the time the energy use is the highest and the energy in accordance with the average temperature outside.

Surry-Yadkin Electric used to rely on meter readers to relay information on an hourly basis; and with this technology not only can the company receive information, but so can the customers.

Surry STEMmersion, sponsored by the Surry County Schools Educational Foundation, is a program in which local teachers can spend one or two days on the site of local businesses and look for ways that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills are used on a daily basis. The latest one was held June 16 – June 18. This program helps teachers better prepare students for the workplace.

“This technology will impact my classroom instruction, too” said Jennifer Sawyers, who is a math teacher at East Surry High School. “Now I can utilize the same software that is used by the co-op to help my students better understand trigonometric functions.” Sawyers also said.

Sawyers is referring to using the graphs that the program Smarthub provides. She uses them to teach trigonometric functions.

“My students already use iPads in the classroom,” Gammons said. “Now, they can use Smarthub to learn more about graphs, and the basics of energy usage.”

All totaled, 29 teachers participated in the program this year and were given a stipend through the SCSEF.

The eighteen local businesses that participated included Chick-Fil-A, SouthData, Surry Economic Development Partnership, Phillips-Van Heusen, Northern Hospital of Surry County, Austin Enclosures, Advanced Electronic Services, Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corp., Animal Medical Services, State Employees Credit Union, Unique Background Solutions, NC Granite, Lydall, Ottenweller, Neste Hoisery, Wayne Farms, Renfro Corp., and Insteel Industries.


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