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Grant will expand the outreach of the Center for Earth and Environmental Science

May 10, 2016

Chancellor Paydar and Duke Energy president Melody Birmingham-Byrd check out a CEES asset that makes environmental education mobile..

Duke Energy President Melody Birmingham-Byrd and Chancellor Nasser Paydar look over a Center for Earth and Environmental Science trailer that the center uses to take education into the field. | PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN GENTRY

The Duke Energy Foundation presented the Center for Earth and Environmental Science with a $400,000 charitable grant to enable the center to double the number of students it reaches in grades 4 through 9 with its Discovering the Science of the Environment program.

"With this grant, we're advancing STEM education and expanding resources across the state," said Duke Energy Indiana President Melody Birmingham-Byrd. "In essence, we're putting science education on wheels. Our Indiana service area stretches over 22,000 square miles, and we are excited about partnering with IUPUI to take quality programming around the state."

The presentation ceremony featured remarks by Birmingham-Byrd, Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar and Dean Simon J. Rhodes of the School of Science.

"The generous grant from the Duke Energy Foundation allows CEES to continue and expand educational programs that are discovery based and make science real and relevant," said Paydar. "CEES exemplifies IUPUI's great strength as a partner working with schools and community organizations in Central Indiana to encourage and facilitate educational attainment at every level."

With the Duke Energy Foundation funding, CEES will expand its programs to include alternative energy and energy conservation and purchase a new mobile science trailer equipped with interactive technology tools, a web interface and GIS mapping capabilities that will provide hands-on outdoor lessons in science and the environment.

CEES' Discovering the Science of the Environment has been serving about 3,000 students a year, mainly in the Indianapolis area. The Duke support will allow expansion to areas outside of Marion and surrounding counties.

"We are so happy to partner with the Duke Energy Foundation to allow the children of Central Indiana to discover their potential to be scientists, mathematicians or engineers," Rhodes said. "For our economy and quality of life, Indiana needs STEM graduates."

Discovering the Science of the Environment was established by CEES to:

  • Fundamentally change the way students and the public view the environment and their role in improving environmental quality.
  • Develop scientifically and technologically skilled students and teachers who are engaged in scientific inquiry.
  • Interest students in career pathways in science, math, engineering and technology.

Each year, through the Duke Energy Foundation, the company dedicates a portion of its shareholder earnings to charitable organizations and educational institutions statewide, investing in areas where they can have the greatest impact. By investing in CEES, the Duke Energy Foundation funded two of its highest priorities: education and science.

Clay Mididle School students take advantage of an IUPUI outreach program.

Students from Clay Middle School use CEES equipment to test the water in a Central Indiana creek. | PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SCHOOL OF SCIENCE

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