Faculty from the Colleges of Engineering, Education, and Arts & Sciences at the University of Alabama have been awarded a $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation Division of Graduate Education for the five-year project, "GK-12 Sustainable Energy Systems." The two main goals of the project are to increase the professional caliber of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates from the University and to provide resources for the State of Alabama High School Engineering Academies.
Graduate students in engineering and mathematics will work with science and mathematics teachers in Sumter County Schools by presenting their research and developing classroom modules to aid in instruction of topics. This will be done under the supervision of the teachers and University of Alabama faculty in partnership with the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI). These modules will be developed in 8 classrooms between grades 6 and 12, and then distributed to schools state wide through the AMSTI program.
Alabama is one of the nation's leading consumers of energy, with a vast presence in the automotive, steel, lumber, and defense industries. Also, the state is a leader in renewable energy production -- ranking fifth in hydroelectric production and second in energy produced from biomass. As such, it is necessary for the upcoming generation of scientists and engineers to have an understanding of renewable energy concepts so they are equipped to meet the demands of a changing and ever-increasing demand for energy. The GK-12 Program at The University of Alabama is working to fulfill that need.