Marshall selected to help implement energy and power curriculum for high school students

Marshall University has been selected by the Southern Regional Education Board to help implement an energy and power program of study for high school students in West Virginia and other states.

As part of SREB’s Advanced Career program, faculty members from the College of Information Technology and  (CITE) are working with the West Virginia Department of Education to launch a sequence of four courses intended to increase the number of students who leave high school prepared for further study, advanced training and careers in energy and power.

Engineering professor Dr. Richard Begley, who is directing the project, said the field of energy and power was selected for the project because of its importance to West Virginia’s economy. The project is one of several similar initiatives SREB is developing in partnership with its member states.

According to Begley, the new courses were designed by teams from universities and high schools in partnership with industry experts. The curriculum incorporates a hands-on approach with experiments that use energy and power measurement instruments, data software and computer simulations. Participating students will learn to apply mathematical and scientific concepts, and will use technology and engineering to solve real-world problems found in the energy and power industry.

Begley said Marshall’s primary role in the project will be training high school teachers to deliver the curriculum. Sessions to train selected West Virginia teachers will be held this summer. The trained teachers will pilot the new courses during the upcoming school year and next summer will help train teachers from other states.

Dr. Wael Zatar, dean of CITE, said the cooperative project is testament to the quality of the university’s engineering faculty.

“The fact that our college was selected by SREB to help implement this program in West Virginia speaks volumes about our faculty, their skills and their dedication to helping students learn at all levels,” he said. “Work force development is at the heart of everything we do and this new curriculum will play a vital role in preparing high school students to continue their educations and contribute to our state’s economic future.”

Dr. Gayle Ormiston, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs,  congratulated Begley and Zatar, saying, “We are pleased to be part of this important cooperative program with SREB and the West Virginia Department of Education. Thank you to Dr. Begley and Dean Zatar for their leadership. The hands-on approach of the Advanced Career program is perfectly suited to the style of teaching and learning we embrace here at Marshall.”