This morning, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) joined ten student volunteers from schools in Lemont and Joliet at the Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago as they helped teach 25 6th graders about science. Lipinski, a senior member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and co-chair of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education Caucus, had the pleasure of seeing firsthand some of the best and brightest 8th -10th grade students who are participating in the Project Infinite Green program lead grade school children through the hands-on learning experience of building a personal solar powered charging station.
“I have supported Project Infinite Green from its first days and am always impressed with the hard work of these students who are guided by numerous mentors volunteering their time to teach,” Rep. Lipinski said. “It is great to see these students who have been helped through mentorship play a similar role for younger students, passing on their knowledge and love for science. About 35 years ago as an 8th grader I did the same thing, teaching 3rd graders about science. This helped drive my interest in science and my desire to be a teacher. As a former educator with an engineering degree, the eagerness of these older students to spark a passion for scientific exploration in others is to be commended, and will hopefully pay dividends for both them and their younger students.”
Rep. Lipinski was joined at
the event by Congressman Bill Foster, the Ambassador and Consulate General to
Morocco, and leaders from the InSPIRE organization, Dr. Siva Sivananthan and
Project Infinite Green is an after school program that encourages STEM education by taking local children on a detailed study of US energy sources. Students learn from mentors from the Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratories, Exelon, Exxon/Mobil, and many others.
Students dedicate at least three hours weekly to their coursework. They learn about both traditional and renewable energy sources, energy policy, climate change, environmental enforcement, and business plan development. At the end of the program, students are charged with creating a business plan that draws upon all that they have learned. Some of the students have decided that peer-to-peer energy teaching, such as the program that occurred today, will be part of their 2013-14 business plans.