Education  ::  Pre-college Education Program

The FREEDM Systems Center has developed partnerships with a number of middle and high schools in four states to increase awareness of the importance of renewable energy systems and recruit future students. A theme of our Center is "each one mentor one." A network of connections exists between industry members, faculty , graduate students, undergraduate students, teachers, and high school students..

Developing and assessing long-term partnerships with middle and high schools, students, and teachers allows the FREEDM Systems Center to achieve the following goals:

  • Enhance teachers’ engineering content knowledge and pedagogical methods.
  • Bring engineering concepts to the classroom.
  • Involve pre-college students in research.
  • Increase enrollment of diverse domestic students in university degree programs.
  • Activities:
    Activities with middle and high school students include:

  • Expert Classroom Visitor Programs where FREEDM Systems Center graduate students lead students in an engineering laboratory experience focused on renewable energy.
  • Young Scholars program for students at partner schools.
  • Research Experience for Teachers Program (RET) which includes teacher curriculum development workshops and research experiences.
  • Summer camps for females and minorities in grades 6-9 at partner schools.
  • North Carolina Science Olympiad Shock Value event.
  • The FREEDM partner schools are:

      North Carolina
    • Broadview Middle School, Burlington, NC
    • Turrentine Middle School, Burlington, NC
    • Cummings High School, Burlington, NC
    • Williams High School, Burlington, NC
    • Hawfields Middle School, Elon, NC
    • Western Middle School, Elon, NC
    • Western High School, Elon, NC
    • Graham Middle School, Graham, NC
    • Graham High School, Graham, NC
    • Woodlawn Middle School, Mebane, NC
    • Southern Alamance Middle School, Graham, NC
    • Eastern Alamance High School, Mebane, NC
    • Southern Alamance High School, Mebane, NC
    • Arizona
    • Carl Hayden High School, Phoenix, AZ
    • Catalina Ventura School, Phoenix, AZ
    • Sevilla West School, Phoenix, AZ
    • Florida
    • Fairview Middle School, Tallahassee, FL
    • Godby High School, Tallahassee, FL
    • James S. Rickards High School, Tallahassee, FL
    • Leon High School, Tallahassee, FL
    • Missouri
    • Rolla High School, Rolla, MO

    For Middle School Students:
    The Renewable Energy Summer Camp is hosted by NC State and available for students in grades 6-8 attending partner middle schools. The 4-day long summer camp inspires a diverse group of young students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM fields).

    • Alamance-Burlington, NC summer camp dates July 13 - July 17, 2015

    For High School Students:
    The Center's Young Scholars Program places high school students from partner schools in engineering laboratories working on hands-on research projects. During this summer experience, Young Scholars learn about the work in FREEDM research labs, participate in career and college exploration activities, and experience field trips and tours under the supervision of industry partners, faculty, teachers, and university students. Program participants also prepare a research project to submit to the International Science and Engineering Fair (or equivalent). Young Scholar experiences are available at NC State, FSU/FAMU, MS&T, and Arizona State.

    • Alamance-Burlington, NC session is June 22 - July 16, 2015
    • Tallahassee, Fl session is TBD
    • Tempe, AZ session is June 1, 2015 through June 26, 2015
    • Rolla, MO session is June 8, 2015 through July 3, 2015

    For Middle & High School Students:
    The Center sponsors a renewable energy event (Shock Value) at the North Carolina Science Olympiad.

    For Middle & High School Teachers:
    Teachers can build their engineering knowledge through the Research Experiences for Teachers in Engineering program (RET). This summer program brings teachers into center laboratories to participate in FREEDM-related lessons, and field trips and helps them translate their experiences into classroom activities. Stipends and CEU credits are available. Teaching materials are provided for each participant. RETs will be held at NCSU, ASU, and MST in 2015. Teachers at partner schools in NC and FL can request classroom visits from Center graduate students through the Expert Classroom Visitor Program. In addition, the FREEDM Systems Center is partnering with the NC State Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development. The Kenan Fellow for the FREEDM Systems Center works alongside the RETs and Young Scholars to provide leadership and write new K-12 lessons to bring renewable energy concepts to the classroom.

    • Alamance-Burlington, NC session is June 22 - July 16, 2015

    Questions regarding the Pre-college programs offered through the FREEDM Systems Center can be directed to:

    • NC State - Dr. Pam Carpenter (
    • ASU - Dr. Keith Holbert
    • FSU - Smriti Jangra
    • MST - Dr. Mehdi Ferdowsi