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Press Release January 14, 2020

January 14, 2020

PAST Foundation Receives Generous Gift from AEP Foundation

(Columbus, OH) — The PAST Foundation headquartered in Columbus, Ohio recently received a generous three-year gift of $250,000 from the American Electric Power Foundation. This gift supports Solarized, the next project phase in PAST’s energy workforce development project.

Solarized models how alternative energy sources power buildings and how energy education solves real-world problems while strengthening workforce development. Through Professional Development and Design Challenges, Solarized will increase the number of confident teachers who use energy concepts to teach and engage students in the fields of energy. Across three years, the project will impact up to 75 teachers through professional development that helps teachers better understand how to facilitate concepts of energy through hands-on learning, ultimately impacting 13,500 students. In addition to teacher professional development, Solarized will also engage with 500 students annually through Energy Design Challenges and immersive student programming. The solar learning activities promoted through this grant will impact teachers and students for years to come. The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including AEP Ohio which provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers in Ohio.

“Throughout PAST’s nearly twenty years, preparing students for the future and expanding the opportunities and pathways of study has been central to our mission. Connecting local business and industry directly with students has proven most effective by providing students with real-world experiences that enable them to hone their problem-solving skills,” said Dr. Annalies Corbin – President, CEO and Chief Goddess of PAST. “Teachers want to embrace this type of learning but often do not know how to begin. PAST’s School Design experts deliver a practical, integrated approach that helps teachers transition easily to applied learning.”

“The American Electric Power Foundation is pleased to again support the highly creative STEM education efforts of the PAST Foundation,” said Dale Heydlauff, president of the AEP Foundation. “By supporting this education pathway, we are able to help students make real-world connections about energy, technology and the environment. A diverse set of workers is needed in the energy industry to help us meet our market demand today and tomorrow.”

About AEP The AEP Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage. The AEP Foundation is based in Columbus, Ohio.

About PAST Foundation For nearly 20 years, PAST, a non-profit organization, has been a leader in designing STEM education across the nation, bringing problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. Recently, PAST's Innovation Lab was named as a promising example to Re-imagine High School as featured in Forbes. PAST has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 vision report. PAST was the only educational entity in Ohio to be included in this publication.

PAST was also recognized in 2014, by CGI America and former President Bill Clinton for their outstanding work, and again in 2015 for their achievements in improving STEM education in rural America. In 2015, the PAST Innovation Lab was recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design.

For more information on PAST Foundation and how you can link learning to life, visit or contact Lori Trent at


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