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June 14, 2004


    OSWEGO -- SUNY Oswego has received support from Entergy Corp. for the 20th Institute in Energy Education for Secondary School Science and Technology Education Teachers to be held in July.

    Dr. Roger Hinrichs, professor of physics, and Dr. Carlton Salvagin, professor of technology, founded the program in response to the 1973 oil embargo and the need for energy education for future teachers.

    Funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and subsequently from the National Science Foundation helped get the program under way. Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. and the New York Power Authority jointly sponsored the third and fourth offerings, as the institute grew to include all energy sources and their financial and environmental impacts. NYPA alone funded the fifth through 15th years. Entergy Corp. has sponsored the past five institutes.

    The first 12 institutes were held at SUNY Oswego, while the last seven have been held downstate in Westchester County.

    Twenty-six teachers of science and technology education will attend the 20th institute from July 12 to 23 at the Putnam Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Yorktown Heights.

    Teachers come from around New York state. "Selection is by application, administrative recommendation, school district need and commitment to teach energy topics during the next academic year," Salvagin said.

    Over the last 19 years, the program has versed 461 teachers in energy technology and exposed them to new ideas, teaching methodologies and strategies applicable to science and technology education. In turn, the participating teachers have had an estimated impact on over 530,000 students.

    Participants "have become more aware of the importance of energy in the economy of the state, the nation and world," Hinrichs said. "They also better understand how energy use impacts our society and environment, as well as being informed of the current dynamic changes occurring in the electric utility industry."

    The institutes have contributed to meeting the charge of the New York State Regents Action Plan that requires a significant amount of energy-related instruction in the secondary schools.

    "National education reform standards emphasize inquiry-based teaching, additional hands-on activities and real-world applications," Hinrichs said. "The institute has promoted these precepts long before they were 'standards' and has incorporated and continually expanded these methodologies since the very first program."

    The institute received the first-ever Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy Education in the college/university category in 1992.

    For more information, see

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Energy Institute offers hands-on learning

ENERGIZING EDUCATION -- Dr. Merlin Kleinbach, professor emeritus of technology at SUNY Oswego and an instructor in the college's annual Institute in Energy Education explains to teachers how solar panels operate on the Yorktown Middle School roof. Entergy Corp. is funding SUNY Oswego's 20th Institute in Energy Education for Secondary School Science and Technology Education Teachers in July.

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