Inaugural Purdue Energy Camp seeks high school student, middle and high school teacher applicants

May 8, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Slots are still available for incoming high school juniors and seniors and middle and high school science teachers in Indiana interested in participating this summer in the inaugural Purdue Energy Camp.

Students selected for the June 10-16 camp will participate free of charge, and teachers receive a $900 stipend for participating in the program organized by Purdue's Energy Center, which is focused on advancing research and learning in pursuit of alternative energy sources to fossil fuels.

The Purdue Energy Camp (PEC), which will accommodate 30 high school students and 15 middle and high school teachers, is titled Educating Students and Teachers Using Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Disciplines.

Applications for the camp are due May 21.

"Students and teachers with a strong interest in how our energy system works will learn from professors and industry leaders who are directly involved in researching and developing the energy resources needed to power the world of tomorrow," says Maureen McCann, director of the Purdue Energy Center and a professor of biological sciences. "Our goal is to inspire pre-college students and teachers to engage with the grand challenges of future energy sustainability."

Interested students and teachers must fill out an application form, which includes a 300-word essay about their understanding of energy and why they would like to participate in the Purdue Energy Camp. To download the application form, go to For additional questions, contact Laura Warner at 765-494-4555,; or Jill Wable at 765-494-1610,

During the weeklong camp, students and teachers will be assigned to teams and participate in daily activities along with their assigned team, said Pankaj Sharma, managing director of the Energy Center. Each team will work on an energy project to complete in competition with the other teams.

On the camp's final day, teams will present their projects to a judges' panel composed of professors and industrial sponsors who will choose the winners. Teachers also can develop energy curricula to enhance some aspect of their classroom offering, said Chris Foster, director of the P-14 STEM Program in Discovery Park.

Lead sponsors are the Duke Energy Foundation, Goldwind America, Green Tech America, Center for Coal Technology Research, the Purdue Energy Center and Discovery Park.

Sharma said students will stay in campus residence halls and eat in the dining halls. Event sponsors will provide meals. During the noon and evening meals, guest speakers will address energy-related topics of current interest.

Students and teachers also will dine with professors and industry and government representatives, who will actively engage with them in open discussions related to issues of energy development and associated current events, Sharma said.

"This is an exciting opportunity for high school students and teachers to learn how the STEM disciplines are being applied to energy research and energy development," Sharma said. "We also will examine the changing environmental regulations and the logistical challenges in introducing alternative sources of energy to the marketplace."

Teachers and students who are selected for the Purdue Energy Camp are responsible for their own transportation to and from the West Lafayette campus.

The Energy Center is part of the university's Global Sustainability Initiative, 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.

The initiative also includes the Center for the Environment, the Purdue Water Community, the Purdue Climate Change Research Center and the Purdue Center for Global Food Security.
Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,

Sources: Maureen McCann, 765-494-1610,
                  Pankaj Sharma, 765-496-7452,
                  Chris Foster, 765-494-2981,