Illinois State University will use a grant to help create an Energy Learning Exchange. (WJBC File Photo)
By Paul Morello
NORMAL - Illinois State University recently received a $50,000 grant to help promote learning in the STEM fields.
The grant will fund an Energy Learning Exchange at Illinois State, which will work towards advances in the energy field, while also helping further high school students' education in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
The E.L.E will work with regional school districts to analyze curriculums and connect students with internships in energy fields, according to David Loomis, director of ISU's Center for Renewable Energy.
"It'll be used to exchange best practices to create a workforce ultimately for the energy industry in the State of Illinois. Really, it's designed to promote STEM learning in high schools throughout the state," he said.
ISU was one of eight organizations to be awarded funds to develop the exchanges.
"Pretty much every major university in Illinois that does energy work is a part of the Energy Learning Exchange," Loomis said. "We're going to be working intensively with several school districts to pilot our programs."
Loomis is still waiting to see whether Unit 5 and District 87 will participate in the programs.
The grant is part of a $10.3 million effort by Gov. Pat Quinn's office to prepare Illinois students for careers in the STEM fields.
Paul Morello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.