Penn State to host immersive sustainability leadership program at Navy Yard

Student applications are now being accepted for the summer of 2014

The GridSTAR Smart Grid Experience Center at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia features a variety of technologies including a modular smart home, solar energy systems and electric vehicle charging stations. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Penn State is offering a interdisciplinary, hands-on summer program for students, which is set to begin in May. This immersive leadership experience in sustainable energy and business will be held at the GridSTAR Center at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia through support provided by the Sustainability Institute

Students will have the option to follow a Sustainable Business or Energy Track while earning six credits. The program will combine hands-on coursework with internship experiences in the unique learning environment provided by the Navy Yard. Students from all campuses will be invited to participate and will also have the opportunity to apply for financial aid to support the tuition and living expenses. 

The GridSTAR Center will provide the interactive learning environment through which students gain hands on experience with sustainable energy, water and living systems. Student applicants to the program will be matched with regional firms focused on sustainable business, energy and research activities, and will be encouraged to apply concepts they learn in classes in their internship settings. Engaging experiences in tangible sustainability systems, be they focused on energy systems or embedded sustainable business practices, are widely recognized as critical ingredients in education for sustainability. A key objective of the program is to help students gain relevant experience to support their placement in the energy and sustainability job market.

Coordinated internship and course offerings will enable students to balance summer courses and work schedules. The courses will be offered in the summer of 2014 over a 12-week period from May 19 to Aug. 13 for a total of six credits each. The internship component will parallel these courses and engage students for 25 hours per week or 300 total hours. The following courses will be included in the program:

Summer Session 1: May 19 to June 27

-- EDSGN 497 - SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP PROJECTS (Business and Energy Tracks): This blended learning course focuses on the cultivation of change agent skills and development of personal concepts of sustainability, energy and leadership. Students are empowered to understand fundamental energy and sustainability concepts settings and provided an opportunity to conduct energy and sustainability assessments in their community.     Summer Session 2: July 2 to Aug. 13

-- BUS 497 - CORNERSTONES OF SUSTAINABILITY (Sustainable Business Track): This course will enable students to explore sustainable business concepts in the context of small or large businesses, and in concert with concurrent internship experiences.

-- AE 469 - SOLAR PV DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION (Energy Track): This blended learning course will provide both technical and hands-on experiences with small to medium scale solar energy systems including the integration of these systems with building energy efficiency measures.

Students will be compensated for their participation in this pilot program in addition to the wages earned through their internship. For more information and the application process, visit

About Penn State GridSTAR CenterThe GridSTAR Center (Grid Smart Training and Application Resource Center) was created to develop and deliver responsive professional and skilled workforce educational programming that is aligned with caliber and pace of the emerging smart grid investments and markets. The GridSTAR Center is coordinated by the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State.

For more information, visit or follow @GridSTARCenter on Twitter for the latest program updates and smart grid news.

Click on the image above to view the course flyer. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated September 20, 2019