FREEDM Students’ High School Visit Featured in “What’s Right” News Segment

Achievement date: 
2013
Outcome/accomplishment: 

Engineering students with the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems (FREEDM) Center were featured in a “What’s Right with Our Schools” television segment by the Greensboro-area Fox affiliate. The news story, filmed at Hugh M. Cummings High School in Burlington, NC, showed FREEDM representatives demonstrating engineering principles to high school students in the school and encouraging the high schoolers to conduct further engineering experiments on their own. FREEDM is an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) headquartered at NC State.

Impact/benefits: 

U.S. students have been shown in several studies to lag their peers in many other industrialized nations in their knowledge of science and math topics. Initiatives such as the FREEDM System Center’s Expert Classroom Visitor Program take concrete steps to promote and prioritize the benefits of obtaining an education in science, technology, engineering, and math – what are known as the “STEM” fields.

Explanation/Background: 

During the February 2013 visit, FREEDM graduate and undergraduate engineering students enrolled at NC State guided high school students through experiments and got them thinking about renewable energy and sustainability.

Using electrical power monitoring tools, solar panels, and even electrode-impaled apples, the university students brought abstract concepts of energy to life for their Cummings High School hosts.

NC State engineering student Tia Simpson said, “We need help—we need young minds to change and start thinking differently about things in everyday life they take for granted— (thinking about) how that can be changed to provide a more sustainable future for us all.”

The visit to Cummings High School offered one example of the comprehensive youth outreach the Center conducts through its pre-college education program. A link to the video news segment is available under the News, Events, & Media tab of the Center’s web site, at http://www.freedm.ncsu.edu.