NSF GK12 “Grass Roots” PhD Training Grant in Renewable energy Systems

This $1.5M award from the National Science Foundation under the auspices of the GK12 program (Graduate student/K-12 classroom) was made in Fall of 2011. 

 Cornell’s GK12 “Grass Roots” program trains PhD students to be effective communicators of science to the general public.  This is a much-needed skill set. The main medium for this communication comes through our engagement of students in rural upstate NY K-12 classrooms. But we have also partnered with museums (e.g., the Sciencenter in Ithaca), with TST-BOCES (Tomkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services) whose programs complement local schools, with local science fairs, Science Olympiad, etc.

In its three years of operation, we have improved the communication skills of over 15 PhD students, trained 12 K12 teachers to engage in original research during an intense 5-week summer program (July-Aug.), and involved a dozen faculty research groups, mainly in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and in Materials Science and Engineering. We have produced educational materials suitable for K-12 schools, including demonstrations and lab activities of renewable energy–related science, a YouTube video, etc.

For more information, contact GK12 Grass Roots PI, Paulette Clancy  (pc@icse.cornell.edu).

Grass Roots GK12 website: https://confluence.cornell.edu/display/gk12/


GK12 Faculty Involvement :

Abe Stroock (CBE)- Fluid dynamics of complex flow systems, e.g., geothermal

Lynden Archer (CBE)- Energy storage systems, esp. new materials for batteries and fuel cells

Paulette Clancy (CBE)- Photovoltaic materials processing and selection; natural gas hydrates

Susan Daniel (CBE)- Algal biofuels

Emmanuel Giannelis (MSE)- Materials development for batteries and fuel cells

Tobias Hanrath (CBE)- Solar cell development

Richard Hennig (MSE)- Materials for battery development and photovoltaic applications

Yong Joo (CBE)- Materials processing, esp. electrospinning, of materials for battery applications

Donald Koch (CBE)- Fluid dynamics of complex flow systems, e.g., geothermal

John Marohn (Chem. & Chem. Bio.)- Characterization of solar cells

Jefferson Tester (CBE)- Geothermal energy

Jeffrey Varner (CBE)- Network modeling/decision making of biofuels