After receiving $37,275 from the South Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), Black Hills State University and six South Dakota schools are enhancing their existing online electronics program and expanding its curriculum to include wind and solar energy.

The EPSCoR grant funds will enable BHSU to update the equipment and software used for the South Dakota Virtual High School electronics program. The University will also expand the four-course electronics curriculum to include alternative energy technology, including wind energy and solar photovoltaic courses. Participating school districts, which currently include Belle Fourche, Cheyenne Eagle Butte, Clark, Edgemont, Oelrichs, and South Central (formerly Bonesteel-Fairfax), will be equipped with updated equipment and receive additional instructor training.

BHSU and the six participating school districts were selected to receive EPSCoR grant funds by the South Dakota Department of Education. Funding is provided through the National Science Foundation.

BHSU initiated the existing online electronics program nine years ago in conjunction with a number or West River high schools. Originally established by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), this collaboration, known as the Consortium for Advanced Technological Education (CATE), was created to provide virtual instruction in basic electronics to high school students in rural high schools. Since its inception, CATE has served more than 1,200 students from 16 school districts across the state.

For more information contact Tom Termes, CATE hub manager and chair of the BHSU Department of Industrial Technology, at Tom.Termes@BHSU.edu or 605-718-2611.