Indiana STEM Teachers Participating in PRISM Sustainable Energy Boot Camps

Monday, July 12, 2021
Image shows teachers in a classroom listening to a presentation.

Boot camps organized by Rose-Hulman’s PRISM program will help Indiana teachers in grades 4-12 implement hands-on projects into their classrooms that help students learn about a variety of sustainable energy topics.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers across Indiana are learning ways to incorporate lessons about sustainable energy into their classrooms through intensive weeklong “boot camp” experiences taking place the next two weeks on campus.

Teachers in grades 4-12 who use sustainable and alternative energies in their curriculum are participating in either of two free workshops July 11-16 or July 18-23. The camps are provided through the institute’s Portal Resource for Indiana Science and Mathematics (PRISM) program, with support from the Duke Energy Foundation and Rose-Hulman alumni Becky and Frank Levinson.

Through classroom sessions, teachers will learn about energy conservation practices, solar and wind energy, hydropower, lighting systems, the U.S. power grid, and coal and natural gas combined-cycle power plants – and how they can integrate these principles into their classroom curriculums. Rose-Hulman professors providing instruction are Andy Mech, emeritus professor of mechanical engineering; Jenny Mueller, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering; Rebecca Bercich, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Robert Bunch, retired professor of physics and optical engineering.

Teachers also will work together on hands-on sustainable energy projects, like windmills and solar- and fuel cell-powered cars, and visit alternative energy providers throughout Indiana. These field trips include Duke Energy’s power plant in Cayuga; wind farms in Benton County; Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s power plant near West Terre Haute; Hoosier Energy’s power plant near Merom, Indiana; and Indianapolis’ Ben Davis High School and Area 31 Career Center. An online meeting is planned with Emily Kahren, an information technology service leader with Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., a Carmel-based regional electric transmission company.

Upon completion, teachers will receive a kit of materials for laboratory activities and earn 45 professional growth points toward their Indiana teacher’s license renewal.

Support from the Duke Energy Foundation and the Levinson family has made the boot camps free for the teachers. Rose-Hulman is providing single-occupancy rooms and meals on campus. The July 18-23 session is still accepting teacher applications. Contact PRISM teacher liaison Bob Jackson at

Since late 2002, the PRISM program has provided interactive digital learning tools and professional development workshops for Indiana teachers in STEM areas. Learn more at the PRISM website.