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Duke Energy Foundation Supporting STEM Education through Rose-Hulman Programs

July 2, 2013

The Duke Energy Foundation has provided a $40,000 grant to help Rose-Hulman encourage Indiana high school students toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through summer exploration and teacher education programs.

Shelbyville Catapulte
Exploring STEM Fields: Rose-Hulman’s summer Operation Catapult program provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about science and engineering career fields through hands-on projects, lectures, and plant trips. (Photo by Shawn Spence)

The grant will support scholarships for 10 specially selected 2013-14 high school seniors to participate in Rose-Hulman’s unique summer Operation Catapult STEM career exploration in July. The grant will also support a middle school and high school teacher professional development program, led by Rose-Hulman faculty members, to develop a curriculum plan to incorporate state-approved STEM concepts into classrooms and laboratories.

These Rose-Hulman programs address Duke Energy’s focus of fostering interest among high school students in STEM related disciplines and careers, while also improving STEM teaching in Indiana  classrooms.

“The Duke Energy Foundation grant to Rose-Hulman is a victory for bolstering STEM education and will inspire young, innovative problem-solvers to meet the increasing demands of a global marketplace,” says Rose-Hulman President James C. Conwell, PhD, PE. “We’re delighted to have Duke Energy, through its foundation, join Rose-Hulman in this mission that’s so critical to America’s competitive future.”

Duke Energy Indiana President Doug Esamann adds, “We saw an opportunity to support very successful Rose-Hulman programs that can foster a lifelong interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. Duke Energy Catapult Scholars will have exposure to Rose-Hulman’s world-class faculty and some of the nation’s top college students in their fields.”

Now in its 47th year, Operation Catapult stimulates student interest in STEM career fields through collaborative, hands-on and innovative projects. Each team has a faculty mentor, and current Rose-Hulman students assist as counselors. The program also gives high school students a head start on college preparation by living in a residence hall, having a roommate, attending lectures on STEM interest areas, and participating in extracurricular activities. Two three-week Operation Catapult sessions are conducted on campus each summer, attracting students from throughout the world.

Duke Energy Catapult Scholars planning to attend the Operation Catapult program from July 8-26 will be:

  • Ryan Bing of Zionsville and Zionsville High School
  • Nathaniel Briggs of Avon and Avon High School
  • Megan Foster of Clinton and South Vermillion High School
  • Christopher Hahn of Columbus and Columbus East High School
  • Marcus Harton of Carmel and International High School
  • Brian Mickel of Carmel and Brebeuf Jesuit High School
  • Enock Momanyi of Terre Haute and Terre Haute South High School
  • Jack Roetker of Lafayette and Harrison High School
  • Hannah Small of Bloomington and Bloomington South High School
  • Lucas Weier of Greenwood and Center Grove High School

Rose-Hulman’s Portal Resource for Indiana Science and Mathematics (PRISM) program will lead the Duke Energy-sponsored STEM teacher professional development initiative. The project will provide the foundation for a week-long summer workshop that incorporates STEM content and state-of-the-art digital resources into classrooms. In the future, teachers will also be provided an opportunity to interact with Duke Energy Catapult Scholars from their region, with a goal to select a scholar and teaching fellow from the same school.

The PRISM program, supported by a Lilly Endowment grant, has become a model for providing Indiana K-12 teachers with digital learning tools that educate students to meet the state’s growing workforce demands in STEM career fields. The program provides five core services: A library of more than 4,000 free, online teaching resources, teacher professional development workshops, electronic lesson plan builders, distance education courses and a tele-mentoring program that provides partnerships between Rose-Hulman students and ninth graders.