Duke Energy is continuing its investment in Greater Cincinnati students, educators and communities by awarding $150,000 in grants to 12 education programs.
The grants support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and environmental education programs to equip students with the skills needed for successful careers in the energy sector. The programs aim to reduce the learning gap as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and close the achievement divide that often separates low-income students from their peers.
“In addition to funding important initiatives that allow students to explore a variety of STEM fields, we’re also supporting exciting programs that provide the resources and tools underserved children need to blossom into tomorrow’s leaders,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “We’re focused on building powerful communities where nature and wildlife thrive, students can excel and a talented workforce drives economic prosperity for all. ”
The education grants are administered through the Duke Energy Foundation, which provided $2 million in support of Greater Cincinnati initiatives in 2021. Duke’s local operations have about 1.4 million electric and gas customers across a 3,000-square-mile footprint.
“COVID has presented many challenges to students and teachers as we recover from periods of missed in-classroom instruction,” said Madhura Kulkarni, director, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics at Northern Kentucky University. “Thanks to this generous grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, we’re able to help more teachers adapt their STEM instruction to meet the needs of every student, especially those who lost opportunities to engage in hands-on, inquiry-based STEM learning over the last two years.”
The following 12 programs received funding from the Duke Energy Foundation:
- Adventure Crew: $10,000 for new Crew Pathway program, providing environmental, educational and leadership training for city teens to deepen their understanding of and passion for the outdoors.
- B the Keeper: $15,000 to support high school students in developing an appreciation for native pollinators through hands-on habitat restoration projects via the Powerful Pollinators program.
- Boone County Schools: $10,000 for Student Energy Teams and STEM clubs to inspire interest among today’s youth in science, technology, engineering and math and help prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s workforce.
- imago: $5,000 to enhance school learning, in particular in STEM topics, by creating and supporting outdoor learning spaces in public urban schools in the Price Hill neighborhood.
- iSPACE Inc.: $10,000 to provide out-of-school hands-on STEM learning opportunities to students from low-income areas.
- Miami University: $15,000 to provide Cincinnati Public School students with a week of engaging STEM learning through hands-on robot building and computer programming at eight Cincinnati Recreation Commission centers during Summer STEM Camp.
- Northern Kentucky Education Council Inc.: $15,000 to reduce the learning gap from the COVID-19 pandemic and help struggling young students with the support they need to be successful in reading and math via the One to One program.
- Northern Kentucky University Foundation: $20,000 for teachers to participate in high-quality, classroom-embedded professional development in STEM subjects with a focus on helping teachers adapt their STEM instruction to meet the needs of all students no matter their level of background knowledge due to missed instruction as a result of the pandemic.
- The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County: $10,000 for Discover Summer program to help prevent summer learning loss for children and teens in high-poverty environments, who also often struggle with basic needs like access to healthy food and safe spaces when out of a formal school environment during the summer.
- University of Cincinnati Foundation: $15,000 to support Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative’s STEM Bicycle and 3D Printers clubs, which engage students to build their engineering and design skills, confidence and interest in exploring STEM careers.
- UpSpring: $10,000 to support Summer 360° day camps, which provide structure for continued learning and academic skill set retention during the critical summer months for children experiencing homelessness in Greater Cincinnati.
- YMCA: $15,000 to support 2022 summer camp Thingamajig Invention Convention, inspiring youth to explore the fields of science, engineering and design while tapping their creative potential and inventive spirit.
Later this year, Duke Energy will announce the Greater Cincinnati recipients of its workforce, urban revitalization and nature grants. Duke’s foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars.