Direct Energy Honors Cincinnati STEM Education Innovator as Volunteer Citizen of the Year
Mary Welsh Schlueter recognized for preparing students for success with case-based STEM education programs
Cincinnati, OH (June 12, 2015) – A dedicated innovator in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs is this year’s winner of the Cincinnati Volunteer Citizen of the Year award. Award program sponsors Direct Energy and WKRC Local 12 have given this year’s honor to Mary Welsh Schlueter, founder and CEO of the Partnership for Innovation in Education (PIE), a nonprofit organization that develops STEM programs for students in K-12th grades.
Schlueter founded PIE in 2009 to provide K-12 students with real-world STEM learning opportunities and tools to accelerate academic achievement, workforce readiness and economic development in the Cincinnati region. PIE delivers an innovative, experiential curriculum through app technology, connecting classroom education with an engaged real-world application. Schlueter forged innovative partnerships with school districts, business leaders and non-profit organizations to develop case-based learning tools to give students an opportunity to solve an authentic challenge the community partner faces. As an Inaugural Straight A Fund School District Partner, PIE recently became the first organization to launch a global STEM app in the Ohio Statehouse with students, educators and elected House and Senate leaders.
“Business leaders demand that students be better prepared for the changing global workplace, where disruption is the norm. With our programs, leaders work together with educators to create transformative ‘real world’ learning,” said Schlueter. “Outside community partners inject authenticity, allowing students to understand the modern-day relevance of their studies. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that educators call us the ‘epi pen’ of the Ohio STEM classroom!”
“Mary’s tireless work with the Partnership for Innovation in Education bridges gaps to better futures and generates innovative avenues for STEM education,” said Tom Prisk, commercial manager for Direct Energy. “Her leadership and dedication is invaluable to Cincinnati’s students, educators and future employers such as Direct Energy.”
As the winner the Cincinnati Volunteer Citizen of the Year award, Schlueter’s organization will receive a $5,000 donation from Direct Energy. The donation will be used to help fund a program that offers elementary and middle school students a chance to see how their skills stack up against 21st century workforce needs. Patterned after the Myers Briggs-style aptitude test, PIE is developing an app measuring critical thinking, decision-making using variable data points and psychographic assessments to be administered in classrooms or after school. These yearly aptitude readings can offer students hundreds of possible career path options to explore beginning in 4th grade.
A special award event honoring Schlueter will be held on Friday, June 12, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Representatives from Direct Energy and Local 12 will be on hand to present her with the award. The event will be held at Local 12, located at 1906 Highland Ave Cincinnati, OH 45219.
About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is North America’s largest provider of heating & cooling, plumbing and electrical services and a leading energy and energy-related services provider with nearly five million residential and commercial customers. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit www.directenergy.com
About Local 12
Local 12 WKRC-TV is the CBS affiliate in Cincinnati-Ohio, the 35th largest market in the United States. Owned by Newport Television, Local12 serves viewers in SW Ohio, Northern Kentucky and SE Indiana. The station was licensed by