8/19/2019
AEP Foundation Creates STEM Classroom at the Potawatomi Zoo

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Indiana Michigan Power, on behalf of the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation, presented a $216,000 grant to the Potawatomi Zoological Society to establish a classroom to teach local children about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

The grant money will create the AEP Foundation STEM classroom inside the Education Complex located on zoo grounds. The space will help the Potawatomi Zoo expand the Education Department and the EdZOOcation program to allow more children to take part in camps, classes, and scout activities. The funding from the AEP Foundation will also help the zoo offer scholarships to increase services for students who might not be able to afford program costs.

“The support from the AEP Foundation and Indiana Michigan Power will enhance the experience of visiting the Potawatomi Zoo for decades to come,” said Josh Sisk, interim executive director of the Potawatomi Zoo. “By helping create the AEP Foundation STEM Classroom for the Zoo’s EdZOOcation program, the AEP Foundation and the Potawatomi Zoo will be able to serve more members of the community, teach the Zoo’s guests about the importance of conservation, and start a unique science-based educational experience for the region.”

“As the hometown energy provider, I&M is committed to growing educational opportunities – specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Toby Thomas, I&M President and Chief Operating Officer. “This is the perfect collaboration for the AEP Foundation, I&M and the Potawatomi Zoo to enhance education, improve the lives of our customers and give back to the communities we live in and serve.”

Part of the AEP Foundation grant will also support conservation education focused on the Potawatomi Zoo’s addition of a southern white rhinoceros this fall. By bringing a male white rhino to the Potawatomi Zoo through the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s White Rhino Species Survival Plan program, the Potawatomi Zoo is playing an important role in the research, breeding, and preservation of this species.

The AEP Foundation STEM Classroom is expected to open in 2020. The white rhino exhibit will be open to the public in the fall of 2019.

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About The Potawatomi Zoo: Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Potawatomi Zoo is home to more than 400 animals and exceeds the standards for zoos in animal care and quality of life, conservation, and education programs. The Potawatomi Zoo is the oldest zoo in Indiana and since its humble origin as a duck pond, it has become a hub of fun and educational activity in the Michiana region.

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About AEP Foundation: The AEP Foundation is funded by American Electric Power and its utility operating units, including Indiana Michigan Power. The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math and the environment and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger.

About Indiana Michigan Power: Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,450 employees serve more than 593,900 customers. More than half of its generation is emission-free, including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,600 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana. American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 33,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,200 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

 

 

Schnee' Garrett
Communications Representative
Indiana Michigan Power
(574) 283-1852
smgarrett@aep.com

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