CMN’s Solar Energy Research Gets Boost from New NSF Grant

Feb 26th, 2015 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive
COLLEGE OF MENOMINEE NATION SOLAR ENERY RESEARCH

CMN engineering professor Lisa Bosman (left) conducts solar energy research with her students. CMN photo by D.Kakkak

The College of Menominee Nation’s (CMN) applied research projects on solar energy are expanding with a new $197,128 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Human Resource Development. The award is making it possible for CMN to introduce renewable energy concepts to children from high-risk primary schools in the neighboring city of Green Bay and to local teachers.

This youth outreach project is a cooperative effort with the Greater Green Bay YMCA’s after-school program for children in grades two through five. The teacher education component is based on a train-the-trainers model that shows classroom teachers how to incorporate solar energy education units in their STEM classes.

The two-year grant is also funding solar energy research led by Dr. Lisa Bosman, who is concurrently working under a $413,000 NASA Innovations in Climate Education grant that expands on CMN’s solar energy research activities. She and others at the college are also engaged in energy projects with Argonne National Laboratory, the Madison and Milwaukee branches of the University of Wisconsin, and the National Council for Science and Environment, among others.

Under the NSF award and other grant-funded projects, CMN students are gaining experience in applied research and assisting with STEM programs aimed at pre-college youth. In summer 2014, CMN students served as mentors to high school students participating in the college’s NASA Academy. The new after-school program with the YMCA is matching CMN students one-on-one or one-on-two with elementary school students for renewable energy projects. In keeping with the college’s mission, studies are often in areas that are culturally significant, and encourage a community and generational appreciation for science and mathematics education. They also prepare students for careers in the competitive and growing field of sustainable energy production.

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