The Exelon Foundation along with ComEd, Pepco, and PECO is proud to fund the Energizing Student Potential Program (ESP), that educates today’s youth on energy and encourages them to seek out solutions to the issues of today and tomorrow.
It is no secret that while U.S. students’ performance in math and science has been improving it still lags behind the rest of the world.
Globalization demands that our students keep pace; otherwise, the U.S. risks losing its competitive edge and ability to innovate. We know that the future of our economy will require talented professionals with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills to succeed, and that this is especially true in the energy field, which has an aging workforce that needs to be replaced.
Educators recognize the need for STEM Programs but many lack the resources and expertise to engage and support promising students.
This is where the ESP program steps in. ESP is a STEM education initiative designed to empower teachers in the classroom, which helps students explore energy related STEM subjects such as sources of energy, electricity generation and transmission, transportation, efficiency, and conservation. General program components include curriculum, professional development for teachers, hands-on classroom science kits and school energy audits to help students learn and discover career paths.
These programs give students the tools they need to be future problem solvers.
For ten years, Exelon Foundation, PECO, The Franklin Institute and the NEED Project partnered to provide local Philadelphia schools with the PECO Energizing Education Program (PEEP). After a successful eight years, the program provided new opportunities in the ninth and tenth year, introducing PEEP 2.0 which includes the PECO Innovation Challenge. Challenging and engaging students to explore and actively solve energy problems, the PECO Innovation Challenge is fueling student’s to find solutions not only for today, but for the future of tomorrow.
The PECO Innovation Challenge Showcase and STEM Career Symposium taking place this May, will be an opportunity for participants to come together and present their solutions.
Students are making impacts in their local communities.
Over the last two years, students at Winfield Central Elementary School in Chicago have become local experts on conservation and energy technology as they’ve worked to masterenergy-focused STEM curriculum through the ESP program. Students conducted energy audits, explored clean energy alternatives and experimented with cost-saving tools like LED lighting and smart meters. Students even presented their energy-saving suggestions to the Winfield Public Works Committee and did a cost-benefit analysis on LED street lighting for the village engineer.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, ESP directly impacted more than 38,000 students and nearly 300 teachers. Winfield Central was one of 194 schools to utilize ESP last year, and in the 2017-2018 academic year the program has expanded to 40 additional schools. With a collaborative effort between energy sponsors Exelon Foundation, ComEd, NICOR, BP America, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, we just ended our third year of ESP programs in Illinois.
Thanks to these partners, the ESP program is able to reach thousands of teachers, students, and schools.
In the West Side of Illinois students from the Galileo Scholastic Academy recently presented at the schools ESP Energy Fair where they put together boards and did presentations on different topics related to energy. There were about 14 different presenting groups and students eagerly covered topics from windmills to energy conservation to even presenting a water-turbine that they had built. Through the ESP program, these students were able to engage in a full curriculum with lots of hands on activities and STEM projects that not only got them excited about sharing their research at the energy fair but allowed them to engage the local community as well.
And Teachers couldn’t have been happier with the outcome…
“Our Energy Fair was a huge Success! We had to open our doors early as we had between 225-250 people attend. Parents swamped me with compliments, principal and staff were amazed, but the best thing was seeing so many kids enthralled by the variety of energy related activities!”- Byrd School
“The energy audit was an amazing experience! The kids learned a lot, took home the ideas, shared them with their families and we have information to help us as a school save energy!”-Sacred Heart School
Due to the success in Illinois and in Philadelphia, ESP has rolled out in the Washington area. In 2016-2017, with the support of Exelon Foundation and Pepco ESP launched in District of Columbia Schools. The program welcomed 22 schools in January of 2017 and launched for a second year in 2017-2018 with 30 schools participating. ESP’s success in the District of Columbia led to the opportunity to launch ESP in Montgomery County Public Schools and Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland.
ESP Programs are currently making a positive impression in schools all over Pennsylvania, Illinois, District of Columbia, and Maryland.
Since the program’s inception we’ve seen the following impact:
- Teachers: 904
- Students (Directly Engaged): 132,876
- Students (Indirectly Engaged – via fairs, school outreach, etc): 236,552
- Schools: 469
Through funding ESP programs, Exelon is committed to helping students thrive by educating them on energy and the innovative career paths this field has to offer.
Our dedication to our communities and the future of our children has always been at the frontline of our business.