Carmel Education Foundation is pleased to connect The Duke Energy Foundation to Carmel Elementary in support of STEM learning for third grade students.  Mark LaBarr, Government and Community Relations Manager at Duke Energy, arrived at Carmel Elementary on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 with a box labeled: !WARNING! CONTENTS ARE EXTREMELY AWESOME!  The box did not disappoint as Carmel Elementary STEM teacher Ann Hepp and third-grade students dove into the box to discover air cannons, marshmallows, USB digital microscopes, magnets, film canisters, LED Diode lights and so much more.  All materials relate to activities focused on hands on learning lessons including air power, catapults, paper circuit robots, and catapults. There are 11 separate units included in the box, all of which include activity cards, materials, and planning guides to benefit 200 students. 

LaBarr shared these resources as part of Duke Energy’s commitment to science education in elementary classrooms. Recently, Carmel Clay Schools has integrated a STEM focused teacher in every Carmel Clay School. In the elementary schools, every class visits the STEM lab once a week to learn age appropriate curriculum and to create simple and complex projects involving creative thinking, scientific principles, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Hepp was delighted to receive the donation from Duke Energy. “These resources are incredible – they create excitement for kids and that is a key component of learning.  We are grateful for the support of Duke Energy and for Mr. LaBarr’s visit to our classroom.”

While visiting, LaBarr shared about how important energy is in every aspect of our lives. Students chimed in about what energy is used for and ideas about how the materials could be used to learn.

“Our company is committed to creating a more vibrant economy by investing in our future workforce early on,” said LaBarr. “We know firsthand that STEM is the backbone to many career opportunities, including those here at Duke Energy, and we’re proud to support these students and Carmel Clay Schools.”

The Carmel Education Foundation (CEF) has worked with the Duke Energy Foundation in multiple projects impacting students throughout the district.  Jennifer Penix, Executive Director of CEF, says “This donation is another example of the commitment Duke has to our community, in particular our young people, and we are proud to have Duke as a community partner.” Penix will continue to work with LaBarr to create opportunities for student and teacher engagement in the exploration of career pathways for students related to energy and conservation.