Florida Power & Light Company energizes STEM education in Florida schools

With a new school year under way, Florida Power & Light Company is offering a variety of programs designed to support 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 look at the kinds of programming FP&L has available for students and teachers:

"Men in Plaid: The Kilowatt Connection" is a live drama that entertains students while teaching them all about energy conservation. Produced by the National Theatre for Children, this traveling school assembly program is offered to schools at no charge and is designed for kindergarten through fifth grade in schools throughout FPL's service territory.

FPL will also offer 1,500 classrooms $25 donations through Adopt-A-Classroom, an organization that links teachers with community partners and funds to purchase supplies for the classroom.Middle school and high school teachers working in STEM subjects in the 28 school districts FPL provides service may be eligible for a matching donation.

All public, private and charter school teachers in FPL's service territory are eligible to apply for grantsto create classroom projects focused on any form of energy education. The grants are awarded in increments of $500 to $2,500.

Teachers in FPL's service territory are also invited to attend one of three full-day workshops to learn how to incorporate energy technology into their teaching plans. The workshops 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.

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.

“As a member of the dynamic, evolving energy industry, FPL’s future success relies upon talented scientists, engineers, and technology specialists,” Rauch said. “That’s why supporting STEM education in our territory is a top priority in our community outreach. Our programs funding and providing student and teacher education in the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and math are cultivating the next generation of highly-skilled workers that will not only help carry FPL onward and upward, but will also prime the pump for a strong, growth-oriented, competitive economy.”