Duke Energy Foundation awards $75,000 to NKU’s Next Generation STEM Classroom project for middle school teacher training

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CINCINNATI – The Duke Energy Foundation is continuing its strong support of education by awarding $75,000 to the The Next Generation STEM Classroom (NGSC) Middle School Program at Northern Kentucky University.

The NGSC program brings NKU and school districts in northern Kentucky together to enhance the learning opportunity for thousands of students by focusing on teacher training curriculum.

Training teachers, rather than directly targeting students, has the added benefit of having that teacher continue to impact students as long as he or she continues to teach.

“Partnering in this unique program at NKU is a way for us to invest in the teachers who could very likely be educating our future workforce,” said Jim Henning, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “We are proud to partner with such an impactful program to ensure we have solid, STEM-focused teachers here in the tristate.”

The middle school grades are of particular interest in STEM education as these are the years when many students lose interest in STEM. Once they’ve lost interest, it’s difficult to rekindle. Students’ attitudes about science tend to be established by age 14. After that, they’re difficult to change.

"We are grateful for the support from the Duke Energy Foundation," said Geoffrey S. Mearns, president of Northern Kentucky University. "This partnership will allow us to extend the great work of our Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM), which is transforming the way STEM is taught in classrooms across Kentucky. Together, we hope to inspire a new and diverse generation of interest in STEM disciplines, and fulfill our university’s promise to make a lasting impact on our communities."

The NGSC program moves away from an emphasis on content-based testing -- toward more student-led and inquiry-based education. In this environment, students are expected to discover scientific ideas for themselves, while also giving them the types of experiences that enable deeper understanding of content knowledge, and scientific and engineering processes.

The program currently has 47 teachers enrolled.

About The Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of its communities. Annually, the Foundation funds more than $25 million in charitable grants, with a focus on education, environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact. Duke Energy has long been committed to supporting the communities where its customers and employees live and work, and will continue to build on this legacy. For more information, visit www.duke-energy.com/foundation.

About Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky’s operations provide electric service to about 840,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area and natural gas service to approximately 525,000 customers.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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