Program Aims For Indiana 'Energy Boost'

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The director of the Purdue University Energy Center says expanding an annual summer program is designed to boost efforts to "inspire future leadership" in Indiana's energy sector. Maureen McCann says a partnership with Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) allows the energy academy, which includes hands-on activities and field trips to STEM-related facilities, to include more high school students and teachers. McCann and Duke Energy Indiana President Doug Esamann discussed the goals and growth of the program on Inside INdiana Business Television. McCann says the energy center is specifically looking to attract more teachers. She says "training the trainers" to go back to their classrooms and teach about energy allows the program to reach more students.

Easamann says Indiana's energy sector is facing a "serious" shortage of trained workers, and programs like the energy academy allows the industry to "start younger." He says it's important to educate the next generation of innovators that will help companies like Duke find ways to use energy more cleanly and efficiently.

The 2014 academy runs from June 22-28 and will include 42 students and 42 teachers.

Originally posted December 9, 2013

News Release

West Lafayette, Ind. -- The Purdue University Energy Center is expanding its annual, free summer program to more high school students and teachers with support from Indiana's largest electric supplier.

Newly named the Duke Energy Academy at Purdue, the Discovery Park program will grow to 84 participants next summer. Last year 33 students and 29 teachers immersed themselves for a week in hands-on activities, tours and field trips exploring energy-related issues and careers.

Registration is now open for the summer 2014 event, which runs from June 22-28. Interested students and teachers must fill out an application form. Participation will be free of charge for the 42 students and 42 teachers selected. Teachers also will receive a $400 stipend.

"In just two years, we have demonstrated the impact the Energy Academy at Purdue is having in the classroom for students and teachers alike. So we are excited that the Duke Energy is helping us expand the program to reach more students and teachers across Indiana and rebrand this exciting summer experience as the Energy Academy at Purdue," said Purdue Energy Center director Maureen McCann, a professor of biological sciences.

Focusing on the STEM disciplines - science, technology, engineering and mathematics -Duke Energy Academy at Purdue will include hands-on activities, tours and exposure to state-of-the-art laboratories, entrepreneurship opportunities and careers in energy.

"You never know what will light that spark for a young middle school or high school student as they discover what their future might look like. The Duke Energy Academy at Purdue has the incredible potential to be that catalyst for defining those bright and enthusiastic individuals who will become leaders of our energy economy of the future," said Duke Energy Corp. Chairman Jim Rogers, whose keynote talk kicked off the 2013 academy.

Participating teachers will receive resources on energy and STEM education that they can incorporate into their school curriculums.

"As Indiana's leading electric supplier, Duke Energy is proud to bolster its partnership with Purdue to expand the Duke Energy Academy at Purdue and inspire even more students to consider one of the many fields relating to energy sciences and engineering in their educational and career goals," said Doug Esamann, president of Duke Energy Indiana. "We see this as the continuation of a strong and fruitful partnership with the Purdue Energy Center in Discovery Park and its commitment to growing interest in the STEM disciplines among students and teachers."

In addition to Duke Energy as the primary sponsor, past event supporters included Bowen Engineering, Center for Coal Technology Research, Purdue Energy Center, Faegre Baker Daniels, General Electric Co., Goldwind, Green Tech America, Ivy Tech Community College, Kidwind Project, Laboratory of Renewable Resource Engineering at Purdue, National Energy Education Development Project, Nokero International Ltd., Renewable Energy Extension at Purdue, Ray W. Herrick Laboratories, Shell Energy and Siemens Energy Inc.

During the summer event, students and teachers are assigned to teams for daily activities, using STEM principles to formulate energy-related projects and hands-on research activities, said event organizer Pankaj Sharma, managing director for the Purdue Energy Center. They will tour a nearby wind farm, a coal plant, nuclear reactor, and other research facilities and laboratories on campus. They also will engage in a policy debate on energy issues.

On the program's final day, each team will present results of their energy project to their parents and a panel of judges composed of professors and industrial sponsors, he said. Purdue Provost Tim Sands will award certificates to participants.

The students and teachers will stay in residence halls and eat at campus dining halls. During the noon and evening meals, guest speakers will address energy-related topics of current interest. They also will dine with professors and industry and government representatives, participating in open discussions about energy development issues and current events.

The academy is organized by the Energy Center, a center in Purdue's Discovery Park focused on advancing energy sciences and engineering for sustainable energy solutions. The Energy Center is part of the university's Global Sustainability Institute, which was launched in Discovery Park to coordinate Purdue's research efforts in sustainability challenges such as climate change, energy, food security, the environment and water.

Source: Purdue University