Student STEM Enrichment Program

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INNER BANKS STEM CENTER (IBSC)

AWARD YEAR: 2021

INNER BANKS STEM CENTER (IBSC)

DIRECTOR: ALVIN D POWELL

PROJECT TITLE: EXPLORING RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The United States is adopting a national initiative to reduce its dependance on fossil fuels and the worldwide demand for inexpensive, energy efficient, renewable sources of energy will only increase in the future. This environmentally relevant and timely project will introduce 7th-9th grade at-risk students to four types of renewable energy: (1) Radiant Solar Energy. (2) Wind Energy, (3) Hydro Energy, and (4) Magnetism. The participating students will be divided into Teams of three. Each Team will be assigned to build a renewable energy facility in a geographically distinct location in the United States. The students will then have to select one of the energy sources being explored herein and formulate an hypothesis regarding which renewable energy selection would work and be cost effective. This project will feature a stimulating curriculum that will use visualization methodologies, hands-on, project-based experiments, basic data-mining research components and role playing as an entrepreneur designing a renewable energy facility. The students will have to explain their decision when they make a presentation to an investment banker group (played by IBSC board members) to obtain funding for their project. The students will be required to use scientific inquiry, data analysis, and critical thinking to validate their hypothesis. Parents will be invited to visit at designated times throughout the program.
The unpredictability of weather systems and energy storage shortfalls are two key vulnerabilities that can adversely impact the use of renewable energy as a replacement for fossil fuels absent additional research. The students will be exposed to Artificial Intelligence (AI) software to gain an understanding of how AI can overcome technological shortfalls of renewable energy sources. In addition, the students will learn about careers in research, and/or science related areas like geoscience, oceanography, meteorology, geology, Artificial Intelligence, and environmental engineering.
The need exists for a program like this that will encourage students to consider academic options and careers in the areas this project will expose them to. In addition, the students will have an opportunity to take field trips and meet professionals in the industry. Students will be recruited from Beaufort County (BC) and surrounding counties.

Award Timeline

Jan 15, 2022

Application Opens

Apr 21, 2022

Application Deadline

Sep 15, 2022

Notice of Award

Dec 01, 2022

Award Start Date

Aug 30, 2026

Award End Date

Program Contacts

Alfred Mays

Senior Program Officer

919-991-5103

Tiffanie Taylor

Senior Program Associate

919-991-5116