The decline in students choosing to enter the fields of science and engineering creates the potential that future developments in energy and nanotechnology may be limited by workforce availability in the future. The number of bachelor degrees awarded in engineering, mathematics, and the physical sciences have been dropping steadily in the past 20 years, as reported by the Department of Education. From 1984-85 to 2004-05, engineering degrees have declined 36%; mathematics down 25%; and physical sciences, down 33% (CICU 2006). Outreach to future scientists and engineer’s is a critical duty of citizenship in the technical community, and can play a critical role in reversing these trends. The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) has recognized that student education, research and development are important factors in producing tomorrow’s engineers.
PVMC presents unique opportunities to structure education and training resources around the photovoltaic industry by implementing a comprehensive workforce development model that will not only prepare employees for the photovoltaic industry, but will engage students in pertinent mathematics and science disciplines.
Internship candidates are expected to obtain or refresh a background on basic science and engineering principles of PV, understand and assist in basic business functions of a PV organization, and acquire the ability to design and perform simple experiments at PVMC or PVMC member company sites.
PVMC has established an in-depth, semester long education, demonstration, and training program for collegiate students in photovoltaics (PV). The principle objective of this program at CNSE is to provide students three basic components for high quality education in photovoltaics. These components are fundamental education, hands-on experience and training, and demonstration of how research and development is pursued.
PVMC and CNSE, with partners Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC), Hudson Valley Community College and the Rochester Institute of Technology, offer professors an opportunity to learn how to teach an in-depth, semester long education, demonstration, and training program for collegiate students in photovoltaics. The professor training program will be a week long intensive training process geared to teach educators the basic knowledge that they will then utilize in a collegiate classroom setting to present the Photovoltaic Solar Cell Collegiate Curriculum.
PVMC has created a two week education, demonstration, and training program for K-12 level school teachers in photovoltaics. The purpose of this program is to provide with simple terms and hands-on experiments a comprehensive education and training on the basic concepts and scientific principles of the technology of photovoltaic devices, panels, and systems.