Duke Energy Foundation grant powers summer STEM program

Underserved area high school students with interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will have an opportunity to explore related fields through a Hanover College summer academy made possible by a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.

“Our educators and students are facing tremendous challenges teaching and learning as we emerge from the pandemic,” said Stan Pinegar, president of Duke Energy Indiana. “It’s more important now than ever before that we support and invest in opportunities for our children in the communities we serve to thrive and reach their full potential.”

Hanover’s residential engineering academy will provide a week-long immersion into dynamic STEM fields. From June 5-10, high school students will live on campus and participate in a unique, in-depth engineering session.

“The Duke Energy Foundation recognizes the need to encourage more high school students in our region to study engineering,” said Jeffrey Phillips, director of Hanover’s engineering program. “The goal of our engineering academy is to get high school students excited about engineering as a career.”

This summer’s academy will explore solar energy. Members of the College’s faculty will teach all courses along with a specially selected area high school STEM teacher. Additional extra-curricular activities, led by current Hanover students, will explore college life and present opportunities for socialization with like-minded peers.

“The students will experience some of the same assignments we give our first-year engineering students,” added Phillips. “They will see what studying engineering in college is really like.”

Funding for the academy is provided by the Duke Energy Foundation, which is awarding more than $300,000 to support innovative education programs in Indiana. The College’s grant will make available full-tuition scholarships for 12 high students from Duke Energy’s regional service area, which includes Clark, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Lawrence and Scott counties. The funding also provides science kits for the academy curriculum and instructor stipends, as well as a pre-session orientation and post-program celebration.

“Thanks to the Duke Energy Foundation grant, we will be able to offer scholarships to high school students who might not otherwise be able to afford to come the academy,” noted Phillips.

A high-school STEM teacher will serve as an adjunct instructor during the summer academy. The participating teacher, selected from school within Duke Energy’s service area, will gain valuable experience and access to academy lessons and content. In addition, Hanover will donate 30 microcomputers to the teacher’s school to allow replication of academy activities for their regular classroom.

The welcoming orientation with parents will explain the financial aid process and provide tips on methods to support children for continue excellence in high school. The end-of-week celebration will salute students for their academy accomplishments and encourage continued pursuit of a STEM field.

Duke Energy Indiana

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,300 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 860,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $2 million annually in charitable gifts to Indiana and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars.