College of Informatics to assist Ludlow students in helping Fort Mitchell company

For immediate release…
Tuesday – Sept. 24, 2013

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Elementary students at Mary A. Goetz Elementary School in Ludlow will help a Fort Mitchell-based pharmaceutical company address an issue it faces thanks to a generous grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.

Ludlow Independent Schools is working with Partnership for Innovation in Education (PIE), a Cincinnati-based education 501 (c)(3) that develops innovative technology-based initiatives to accelerate academic achievement, workforce readiness and regional economic development. PIE received the $40,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation and is sponsoring a STEM program at the elementary school, which serves 420 students from pre-school through sixth grade. Approximately 350 students in the Ludlow district will be directly involved, but the program is digitally scalable to all northern Kentucky school districts.

“The $40,000 grant will allow us to buy more than 35 tablets for our students, giving them an opportunity to participate in this unique program,” said Jason Steffen, principal at Goetz Elementary.

Students received a real case study, written to grade level, from Union Springs Pharmaceuticals about its MyClyns® brand. The case evaluates the impact of a simple infection-control program on the average daily attendance of students in K-12. Students will compare environmental impact, safety and effectiveness of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer versus a non-alcohol product.

Once the case is completed, the students will create a Android app with the help of the Northern Kentucky University Center for Applied Informatics (CAI).

Mary Welsh Schlueter, PIE chief executive, will lead the students to use critical thinking and technology to analyze the issue, offer possible solutions, collect data and ultimately solve the problem. Then, they will create an Android app which will be available for sale to benefit the school.

The NKU CAI will help the students develop and write the app. Part of the NKU College of Informatics, the CAI is a technology collaboration platform that works on innovative technology to help regional companies be more competitive in a global technology-driven marketplace. The app will likely teach users about germs, health, nutrition, fitness and staying healthy, but the students will make it fun and engaging. The CAI students have facilitated some dynamic apps using the creativity and gaming of K-6 students, as first seen in the Kilgour Elementary LemonSmash app.

“The NKU Center for Applied Informatics provides the technology component/mobile app training and development for this project with Ludlow,” said Timothy Ferguson, chief information officer and associate provost for Information Technology at NKU. “The high-tech skills of our students make a difference in the community and at the same time enable them to include four years of applied learning on their resume. For this project, CAI is engaged in K-12 learning and our informatics students learn important skills while assisting Ludlow students in high-tech projects brought to them by PIE.”

Carter Gaither, Union Springs managing director/executive vice president, and Jeff England, vice president of sales and marketing for MyClyns® division, are company liaisons for the project. Steffen and gifted program teacher Jane Paulin are school liaisons.

“Without the partnership with PIE, our students would not have access to this innovative approach to learning,” said Michael Borchers, district superintendent. “This will prepare them to adapt to new approaches to learning throughout their educational careers.”

Schlueter echoed those sentiments. “We are extremely pleased this grant will benefit Kentucky children in Ludlow Independent Schools,” she said. “Our KydPreneur Program teaches the application of STEM concepts to a real-world issue from both a regional and global perspective. Our 21st century curriculum prepares children by teaching skills future careers will demand.”

To learn more about PIE and its past, current and future projects, visit

About Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation actively works to improve the quality of life in our communities, lending leadership and financial support through grants to charitable organizations. At the core of The Duke Energy Foundation is its commitment to the community, with a focus in: Environment, Economic Development, Community Vitality and Education, especially K-12 education focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

About PIE
Recognized as the first elementary school program in the USA to incorporate business, education and app development technology in the classroom, PIE programs offer real world, critical thinking skills embedded within an approved STEM Core Curriculum program - with the added benefit of earning revenue for school districts. PIE connects knowledge leaders, concerned citizens, educators, administrators, non-profit organizations, business communities and government leaders to promote positive change within neighborhoods and urban communities.

About Union Springs and MyClyns
Union Springs, LLC was founded by Roger Griggs in 2007 to protect first responders (police, firefighters, paramedics and military) from exposure to potential pathogenic threats in the line of duty. MyClyns® Germ Response Spray is the only germ-fighting product that can be sprayed directly into the eyes, nose, ears, mouth and open wounds without toxicity, burning or irritation.

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