Local Students and Schools to Benefit from Free STEM Field Trips
The Duke Energy Foundation awarded a $75,000 grant to Orlando Science Center to allow more than 3,500 elementary school students participate in STEM- (science, technology, engineering and math) focused field trips free of charge. The program, now in its third year, is designed to excite students in Duke Energy’s service territory about fundamental engineering principles.
“Duke Energy is a valued community partner who understands the importance of engaging young people in STEM experiences now. Orlando Science Center is excited to continue our longstanding partnership with Duke Energy because it’s an investment that will pay off in big dividends for our community’s future,” Science Center President JoAnn Newman said. “Together, we can get kids excited about STEM concepts through hands-on, interactive labs and exhibits.”
Field trips will start with a 90-minute discovery lab in which students team up and design a bridge to withstand the heaviest load. After that, they venture to the exhibit floor to use the engineering design process they learned in the lab and follow specific criteria to solve problems. Working together, they will design, prototype and test their creations and compete in challenges among their peers.
“When we support STEM programs, we are helping build the energy workforce of the future,” said Alex Glenn, Duke Energy, state president – Florida. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Orlando Science Center, and to support the great work they do every day in getting our children motivated to learn.”
The Science Center will recruit schools from Orange, Seminole, Lake, Osceola, Polk and Volusia counties. The grant also enables the Science Center to host Title I schools aiding underserved and poverty-stricken youth. Field trips will start and run through the next academic year (2013 – 2014).
Duke Energy — and its antecedent, Progress Energy — have made substantial commitments to the Science Center over the years, totaling more than $720,000. The STEM field trips offered by the Science Center speak to Duke Energy Foundation’s direct areas of focus, specifically, K-12 STEM education.
ABOUT ORLANDO SCIENCE CENTER: Located in Orlando, Fla., interactive learning and discovery await within the Science Center’s hundreds of exhibits, programs, labs, films and planetarium shows. The Science Center provides educational opportunities both within and outside its walls including field trips, family science nights at schools and community centers, and other outreach.
Orlando Science Center’s mission is to inspire science learning for life. The Science Center strives to create lasting impacts on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to develop the next generation of creative innovators to fuel the global economy. Fully accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Science Center ranks as the most popular museum destination in the region. Having served more than four million people and provided field trip experiences to more than 800,000 school children since the current facility debuted in 1997, the Science Center offers rich resources for lifelong learning.
ABOUT DUKE ENERGY:Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), provides electricity and related services to approximately 1.7 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Duke Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. More information is available at www.progress-energy.com.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at:www.duke-energy.com.