Duke Energy Foundation Awards Grant to Darlington Middle School and Clemson University for Expanded Outdoor Research Project
Duke Energy Foundation has awarded Clemson University a $5,500 community grant to expand the outdoor research classroom at Darlington Middle School. The grant allows Clemson University to develop new educational projects for eighth-grade science classes to address new South Carolina state science standards.
“We are excited to see these hands-on science projects come to fruition to help students better understand the world around them and to improve student classroom performance,” said Mindy Taylor, Duke Energy Community Relations Director for the Pee Dee.
The outdoor classroom at Darlington Middle School provides for outdoor research projects that will complement and strengthen the traditional classroom instruction of students. The new eighth-grade projects will focus on plant genetics and heredity, as well as on how humans and the environment affect the expression of traits in living organisms. Clemson Professor Jim Frederick, with support from the Duke Energy Foundation, recently introduced outdoor research programs for sixth- and seventh-grade science classes at the school.
“Hands-on, problem-solving projects have been shown to improve the academic performance of most students regardless of demographics,” said Darlington County Middle School Principal Eddie Shuler. “With the new science standards, teachers of all grades will need innovative discovery projects for students to conduct that will improve the students’ knowledge and understanding of the different subject matters taught.”
“The Clemson/Duke Energy Foundation outdoor classroom at Darlington Middle School gives our students a unique opportunity to study middle school science standards in a hands-on, out-of-the-box environment,” said Dr. Tim Newman, superintendent for the Darlington County School District. “We appreciate Duke Energy Foundation and Clemson University providing these lessons and resources for our students.”
State House Representative Robert William states, “This project is a great educational tool for our kids and teachers that will expand student learning opportunities, and we are excited to have the pilot project at the Darlington Middle School.”