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Addressing one of the Engineering Challenges in Pre-College Programs: Modernizing the Electric Grid

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2018

Conference Session

Pre-College: Organizing Instruction Around a Theme

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27541

Download Count

18

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Paper Authors

biography

Pam Page Carpenter

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Pam Page Carpenter, Ed.D. is Director of Education programs for the National Science Foundation Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center headquartered at NC State University. She has developed and led K-20 programs in renewable energy and alternative transportation with a focus on and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She is an adjunct associate professor in the Technology, Engineering, and Design department at NC State and earned her doctorate in Technology, Engineering, and Design in the College of Education at NC State University.

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Adam Stevens North Carolina State University

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Adam Stevens is currently a PhD student in the College of Electrical and Computer Engineering and North Carolina State. Adam received his Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from UNC Charlotte in 2007 and his Master's from North Carolina State in 2015. His research interests are in electric machines and drives as well as self-driving vehicles. He is particularly interested in vehicle localization using sparse distance measurements obtained from LIDAR measurement units. He is currently serving as the Education Officer for the Student Leadership Council of the FREEDM Systems Center at North Carolina State.

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Erik Schettig Wake County Public School System

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Erik is a Technology, Engineering, and Design teacher at Middle Creek High School in Apex, NC. He is a Kenan Fellow and has worked extensively with energy related curriculum.

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Landon K. Mackey North Carolina State University

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Electric power and electronic equipment have been my passion as long as I can remember. One of my favorite photographs of myself as a child is of me building my first transistor radio as a young boy. The circuits and power electronics that I now use are far more sophisticated than a transistor radio, and my passion for the field has grown with that sophistication.

At a young age I found myself drawn to the armed services and with stunning evaluations on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), I received multiple distinguished offers and found my calling in the United States Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, where I served as a Nuclear Submarine Electrician for six years.

I expanded my expertise through qualifying all senior watches as an electrician, and continuing to qualify both reactor operations and mechanical watch stations. I assisted the ship through an extensive overhaul period in which I coordinated activities and testing with shipyard entities. Following military service, I continued to hone my skills as an electrician and mechanic, while directly interfacing with customers as an overhead crane technician for KoneCranes. Working in hazardous environments such as chemical plants, steel mills, and mines cultivated a passion for excellence in occupational safety.

I completed my Masters of Science at North Carolina State University in December 2016 and am pursuing a Doctorate in Philosophy in Electrical Engineering. My internships at Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan, USA and ABB Corporate Research Center in Dätwill, Aargau, Switzerland provided me with hands on testing and design experience in power electronics. I reciprocated my value to the projects through improving testing procedures, redesigning main testing facilities, and improving the schedule outlook of the projects.

Throughout my graduate studies I have worked with undergraduate engineering and business students, high school students, high school teachers, community college students and many more to aid in development of a well-rounded professionals. Mentorship is an integral part of the engineer I want to be, through giving back to my peers and fostering a community where we encourage each other to reach their full potential, I know that I am positively impacting my community.

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Catherine M. McEntee North Carolina State University

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Catherine McEntee is a graduate student studying Electric Power Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University.

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Abstract

A university precollege program was revised for the summer of 2016 to not only teaching about renewable energy technologies and the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, but also the electric grid and how a center is addressing the challenges of modernizing the grid through research. High school students apply to a summer program and are selected to participate in the four-week program. The program involves engineering educators and engineering graduate students providing content and hands-on activities, industry tours to learn more about different environments that are involved in the electric grid, renewable energy technologies, and engineering, weekly webinars, social activities to promote collaboration and inclusion, and interaction with both undergraduate and graduate students. The goal of the program is to promote higher level thinking skills, problem solving, innovation, and learning the engineering design process. Multiple speakers present on topics such as microgrids, solar farms, electric vehicles, and battery storage. Students work with Arduinos, 1/10 scale model electric vehicles and designing a solar charging station to charge the vehicle, battery technologies, wind turbines, calculate energy consumption, and learn coding, and programming. During the program, students select a research project in which they work on developing a demonstration project. In addition to the project, students learn how to create a research poster and deliver a perfect pitch. At the conclusion of the program, students participate in a symposium event demonstrating their research projects to faculty, students, staff, parents, and teachers. Students worked on projects that included smart use of smart meters, autonomous problem solving and adaptability to quickly and efficiency maintain power distribution, and batteries to power the future-wet versus dry batteries. A comparison of pre and post program survey results for the pre college program indicated that students had a better understanding of engineering and energy related topics.

Carpenter, P. P., & Stevens, A., & Schettig, E., & Mackey, L. K., & McEntee, C. M. (2017, June), Addressing one of the Engineering Challenges in Pre-College Programs: Modernizing the Electric Grid Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27541

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