LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2020) — A new, hands-on STEM education program will be racing its way into fifth grade classrooms across Kentucky in 2020.
The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), in partnership with GreenpowerUSA and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC), have announced a new program to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in Kentucky’s schools. The program, STEM Education through Electric Vehicles, offers students a creative opportunity to design, construct and competitively race a one-person electric vehicle. The Kentucky Office of Energy Policy awarded a $51,344 State Energy Program grant to support the project.
“Our methods to educate the next generation must continue to evolve,” said Rebecca Goodman, secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. “The STEM EV program is an example of how partnerships, innovation and technology create a new opportunity to prepare our students for tomorrow’s evolving, technological workforce. I am excited to watch Kentucky’s students build on concepts from their science curriculum and apply that knowledge to a real-life, physical project.”
CAER will roll out the program later this spring to fifth grade students across the state with implementation beginning in early fall 2020. Participating schools will receive program training at CAER in Lexington on the GreenpowerUSA program kit, which includes curriculum materials, the vehicle base and associated parts. Students will develop their vehicles throughout the 2020-21 academic year and compete in a race in spring 2021.
“Technology has radically changed our lives over the past decade,” said Shiela Medina, assistant director for policy and engagement at CAER. “It has changed how we communicate and control our home environment, and even our vehicles are becoming more intelligent and more are fueled by alternative energy sources. We are excited to introduce this new program to Kentucky’s students and most importantly, to guide their exploration of science and engineering, and to have some fun along the way.”
“GreenpowerUSA is excited to partner with the University of Kentucky to engage the next generation of energy innovators,” said Drew Sparks, Greenpower’s CEO. “In our unique design, build and race program, Greenpower inspires students through the thrill of competition and power of cooperative learning to reimagine our future and prepare them to enter college and careers in engineering, manufacturing and energy science. We are thrilled at the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with leaders in Kentucky's energy innovation to bring this dynamic program to the great Bluegrass State.”
GreenpowerUSA is a nonprofit organization serving schools across the United States to demonstrate the importance of engineering and associated STEM subjects.
For more information about the project, contact Shiela Medina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.