T&D World Magazine

FPL Energizes STEM Education in Florida schools

As students and their families enjoy the final weeks of summer vacation, the new school year beckons and Florida Power & Light Co. has announced its plan for supporting STEM (science, technology, energy and mathematics) education in Florida schools for the 2012 - 2013 academic year.

FPL's commitment to STEM education has led the company to develop a comprehensive inventory of tools and programs to help schools provide excellent and dynamic STEM education to students.

"Research shows that STEM education is critically important to ensure that today's students are prepared for tomorrow's competitive economy," said Pam Rauch, FPL vice president of Development and External Affairs. "We know that many teachers reach into their own pockets to supplement their teaching and to help bring lessons to life. It is our hope that these programs will inspire additional creativity, ease burdens on our teachers and make a lasting impact on Florida's students."

Here is a brief overview of the various programs:

New traveling school assembly program, offered to schools at no charge

  • Designed for kindergarten through fifth grade in schools throughout FPL's service territory.
  • "Men in Black: The Kilowatt Connection" is a live drama that will delight students, while teaching them all about energy conservation.
  • Show is produced by the National Theatre for Children.
  • To schedule a show, call 800-858-3999, ext. 1.

Adopt-A-Classroom Matching Donation

  • FPL will offer 1,500 classrooms $25 donations through Adopt-A-Classroom (organization links teachers with community partners and funds to purchase supplies for the classroom).
  • Middle and High School teachers working in STEM subjects in the 28 school districts FPL provides service may be eligible for a matching donation.
  • To qualify for the match, a teacher must receive at least a $25 donation through www.AdoptAClassroom.org/fpl.

Teacher Grant Programs

  • All public, private and charter school teachers in FPL's service territory are eligible to apply for grants to create classroom projects focused on any form of energy education.
  • Grants are awarded in increments of $500 to $2,500 and the application deadline is November 15, 2012. Winners will be announced by the end of this year.
  • For more information, please visit www.FPL.com/community/learning/solarstations.shtml.

Teacher Workshops

  • Teachers in FPL's service territory are invited to attend one of three, full-day workshops to learn how to incorporate energy technology into their teaching plans.
  • Workshops will include lessons on how solar energy works, hands-on activities, and curriculum materials related to energy.
  • FPL will provide a $125 stipend to attending teachers to fund their travel and meals for the day.
  • Workshop space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Upcoming workshops include:
    • Oct. 4: Turner Agri Center (tour of FPL DeSoto Solar Plant included) in Arcadia
    • Oct. 17: Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa
    • Nov. 7: FPL's Energy Encounter on Hutchinson Island

FPL's 2012-2013 plans to support STEM education in Florida is part of FPL's larger commitment to the state. This is the fourth year FPL has supported the Energy Teacher Grant Program, which has now awarded more than $122,000 for 120 teacher projects across FPL's 35-county service territory. The awards come from the NextEra Energy Foundation, which is funded by shareholders of FPL's parent company, NextEra Energy, Inc., the nation's largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and the sun. Beyond the teacher projects, FPL has installed Next Generation Solar Energy Station arrays at 14 educational facilities across Florida and built three large-scale solar power plants to supply power to its customers.

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