Customers & Community

How Constellation Inspires Energy Solutions for the Next Generation

3 min read

To solve tomorrow’s greatest energy challenges, we need to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and creativity to begin exploring energy solutions today.

That’s why Constellation is proud to contribute to learning both inside and outside the classroom through a variety of educational outreach efforts across the country.

Here are just three of the many ways we do that.

Constellation STEM Scholars Program

Constellation recently awarded $50,000 in grant funding to provide scholarships to students pursuing associate degrees and certificates in programs that require science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge. The STEM Scholars program will seek to increase the number of low-income, academically talented students seeking careers in STEM fields by providing the support they need financially, socially, academically and professionally.

“Minorities now account for almost 40 percent of K-12 students in the United States, yet they earn only 27 percent of associate degrees from community colleges,” said CCBC President Sandra L. Kurtinitis. “Constellation’s contribution will allow us to provide traditionally underserved and low-income students who want to pursue STEM-related fields with both financial and academic support.”

As part of the program, students will get the chance to shadow engineers and solar installers during the construction of Constellation’s recently announced 5.1-megawatt solar project at CCBC to gain a greater understanding of available STEM career opportunities and valuable on-the-job experience.

Community Champions Grants

When students at Nottingham Elementary in Texas learn about the life cycle of plants and insects, they can step outside and see it in action inside their very own butterfly garden.

With a Community Champions grant from Constellation, the elementary school added the garden last year to enhance its outdoor classroom. The garden allows them to learn more about insects, plants and more. They can check the growth of their plants and even take measurements of barometric pressure, temperature and humidity at the outdoor Weather Center.

“The students enjoy coming out and getting their hands a little dirty,” Principal Ray Moore said in a video about the project. “It’s very hands-on, so not only do they get that in the classroom, but to come out and see it in real life, that’s when the learning really connects.”

Since the program’s launch in 2013, Constellation’s Community Champions program has awarded more than $100,000 in funding to nearly 220 projects nominated by our residential electricity and natural gas customers. The funding supports projects with a focus on education, youth development and the environment.

Constellation awards Community Champions grants each quarter and accepts submissions in February, May and September. Designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit groups are eligible to receive up to $500, and other community causes may apply for grants of up to $250.

Customers are encouraged to nominate their favorite local project or cause by visiting the Constellation Community Champions webpage and using their account number to identify them as a customer.

E2 Energy to Educate Grants

The Carnegie Mellon Racing Team is a group of students who build 100 percent electric vehicles from the ground up each school year. The team devotes thousands of hours designing the vehicle and then participates in two racing competitions: Formula Hybrid and FSAE Electric.

This program was one of 11 projects to receive funding last year through Constellation’s E2 Energy to Educate grants. Since 2010, we have awarded more than $1.8 million to 55 projects through the E2 Energy to Educate program, helping more than 88,000 students.

“The goals of our Energy to Educate grants are to inspire students about the energy industry and help build the science, math and technology skills they need to be successful in any career,” Constellation CEO Joseph Nigro said.

For more information or to apply for a grant, visit our E2 Energy to Educate page.

In-School Challenges

Green Street Academy in Baltimore is committed to educating students to thrive in a more sustainability-minded economy. In 2014, Constellation provided support for students at the school to build their own solar-powered vehicles and race them in a competition.

More recently, we worked with Green Street Academy on a Solar Challenge, where the students were tasked with determining the best location for their school’s new solar panels and presenting their argument to the group.

The students worked in small groups with guidance from Constellation’s experts, who helped them determine how the sun would move throughout the day.

“I think the purpose of this project is to really help the children feel a part of the name of their school,” said Constellation Business Development Manager Cherise Seals. “Green Street Academy means they have a green and a sustainable objective, and putting solar here is really walking the walk.”

Investing in education is just one of many ways Constellation is strengthening communities. To learn more about our involvement in energy management, environment and economic development for communities like yours, visit our community page.

Rachel Duncan is the Corporate Relations Manager for Constellation.

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