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Duke Energy Foundation Supporting Indiana High School Students’ STEM Career Development through Operation Catapult Scholars Program

July 18, 2014

Duke Energy LogoThe Duke Energy Foundation is partnering with Rose-Hulman to support Indiana high school students’ interest in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The foundation has provided an $80,000 grant to provide scholarships during the next two years for 24 students from Duke Energy service areas to attend Rose-Hulman’s successive summer STEM career exploration program, Operation Catapult. This funding will also allow high school STEM teachers to attend training and curriculum development workshops.

Operation Catapult’s goals of promoting STEM learning and careers, as well as providing students with a pre-college experience, are a good fit with the Duke Energy Foundation’s priorities.

“While today’s reliable and affordable electric service provides us with a high standard of living, we still face challenges that require curious, highly-trained, and energetic young minds to tackle,” says Doug Esamann, president of Duke Energy Indiana. “The Operation Catapult program fosters an environment of curiosity and creativity that we believe will help develop tomorrow’s energy problem solvers.”

For 48 years, Operation Catapult has provided high school seniors with the opportunity to explore their interests in STEM areas through collaborative, hands-on, and innovative projects. Students also get to meet engineers and scientists making innovative developments; attend lectures on current STEM issues; and get a preview of campus life by living in residence halls. Sessions are conducted each June and July.

“The Duke Foundation is helping students to get experience working on exciting and relevant energy-related projects, often on equipment that would only be accessible to college students,” states Operation Catapult Director Patricia D. Brackin, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering. She adds, “It is important that these valuable experiences are being made accessible without an undue financial burden to the students’ families.”

Duke Energy Indiana’s operations provide about 7,500 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 800,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state’s largest electric supplier. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, 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