Registration underway for 2015 Duke Energy Academy at Purdue

January 15, 2015  

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Duke Energy Academy at Purdue has opened registration for high school juniors or seniors and secondary teachers interested in participating in a STEM-focused, annual summer program.

The free weeklong event, organized by the Purdue Energy Center in Discovery Park for the 42 students and 42 teachers selected, is scheduled to take place June 21-27 at the Purdue campus.  Teachers will receive a $400 stipend for their involvement.

The deadline for registration is Sunday (Jan. 18) for students and Feb. 22 for teachers. Applications for the academy can be found at

 Students who join this summer program will be introduced to science, technology, engineering and math - the STEM disciplines - through hands-on activities, as well as tours and field trips that will allow them to explore energy-related issues and careers. Teachers involved in the academy will receive resources on energy and STEM education that can be incorporated into their school curriculums.

Jim Rogers, retired chairman and president of Duke Energy, is scheduled to speak during opening ceremonies at the 2015 event.

"We aim to inspire teachers to communicate the importance of this relatively new and highly interdisciplinary area of scholarship in their classrooms and to inspire students to consider one of the many fields related to energy sciences and engineering in their educational and career goals," said Pankaj Sharma, managing director of the Purdue Energy Center.

Thanks to a partnership with Duke Energy, the academy was able to grow last summer. And the relationship between Duke and Purdue has continued to help expose more students and teachers to state-of-the-art laboratories, energy entrepreneurship opportunities and careers.

Last fall Harmony School in Bloomington, Indiana, began teaching a project-based class focused on sustainable energy with curriculum materials developed in conjunction with the program. The elective course, taught by 2014 Duke Energy Academy participant Emily Sprowls, is a physical science class for students in grades 7-12 and has been offered since 2010 in collaboration with various local organizations such as Duke Energy, Audubon, Toyota, Solar Systems of Indiana and Atomic Electric.

"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 Duke Energy is helping us grow and sustain 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.

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

Past academy experiences have included tours of a coal plant, wind farm and nuclear reactor. Also involved in the academy are team-based research projects, economic, environmental, social and policy challenges of energy, and a hands on demonstrations of anything from energy storage to electricity distribution.

Duke is the primary sponsor of the annual Duke Energy Academy at Purdue. Co-sponsors and supporters in the past have included Bowen Engineering, General Electric, Goldwind, Green Tech America, Kidwind Project, Nokero, Siemens Energy and WindStream Technologies Inc.

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. ­­­

Writers: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, 

Emily Sigg, 765-494-4719,  

Sources: Pankaj Sharma, 765-496-7452, 

Maureen McCann, 765-494-1610, 

Video: Harmony School: 

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