U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Education Resources
Teach and Learn: As relatively new and rapidly emerging fields, renewable energy and energy efficiency are somewhat fragmented. Each is widely multidisciplinary , yet efforts to educate and train remain separate. Innovation and rapid developments are allowing for monumental advances in technology and there is a pressing need for a skilled and educated workforce capable of supporting the industry in reaching its full potential. The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) website provides a one-stop resource for not only learning centered on renewable energy but opportunities to become involved in the field as well. Accommodating to all ages, positions, experience and skill levels, the EERE Teach & Learn page extensively and comprehensively offers guidance to anyone with an interest in understanding more about the renewable energy field.
Jobs: For individuals interested in pursuing a career, internship or training opportunity within the renewable energy field, the Career Planning Information tab provides links to current career opportunities as well as top renewable energy businesses, governmental agencies, and NGO’s. This is an excellent resource for gaining fundamental insight into the skills, competencies, and requirements needed for specific careers within the renewable energy field. Interactive visuals such as the Wind Career Map and the Solar Career Map allow users to explore a diverse set of jobs and how they rank within the industry in terms of required skills, level, and ability to progress to other positions. These maps make it easy to understand the diverse and intricate sectors by exploring the individual jobs within.
Graduate-Level Opportunities: The Department of Energy sponsors several fellowships for graduate-level individuals listed on Graduate & Postdoctoral Opportunities tab. This page also explores and provides links to a variety of private, public, and nonprofit organizations and institutions that offer fellowships and research opportunities related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Internships: Through the Career Planning information tab, internship opportunities offered by a variety of organizations across all sectors are indicated. The Find Internships page specifically highlights and discusses the internship opportunities offered directly through the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) making it easy for individuals interested in gaining experience in a federal agency to locate opportunities.
Competitions: Competitions allow students of all age groups (K-12 or university-level) and backgrounds to be able to apply their knowledge and understanding of certain disciplines. Participation in such events allows students to not only challenge themselves but also be immersed and participate in innovative renewable energy technology and learning. Especially in primary education, students often learn foundational skills in different subjects. However with pressing challenges facing the world today, it is crucial for students to learn real ways to address them. Competitions like the annual Real World Design Challenge get high school students to start thinking these challenges and how they can be part of the solution. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon is an intensive 2-year project where college students build and design solar powered homes, competing against others in a series of 10 contests. Among many others the DOE’s Cleantech University Prize further provides students with unique opportunities through competitive funding to inspire and equip the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs and innovators.
Training: The EERE area offers many career opportunities in a rapidly growing economic sectors. Many of the positions are technical and do not require a bachelors degree. A growing number of community colleges provide programs that prepare people to enter the workforce. The EERE’s training page lists opportunities that provide general and specialized training to aid individuals on the path to a clean energy career who otherwise may not receive a formal education in the field.
Energy 101: Through collaborative efforts with several institutions and organizations, the DOE initiated the development of Energy 101, a peer-reviewed course framework for entry level students in higher education. This innovative initiative is centered on increasing pathways and opportunities for higher education students to attain energy-related careers and degrees by providing a universal and multidisciplinary elementary energy curriculum. This framework is easily implementable as the DOE provides free access to the primary Energy 101 curriculum and additional resources via the Energy 101 webpage.
Energy News: For timely updates on what’s going on within the energy sector including innovation, educational resources and relevant events and competitions, the STEM Spark Energy News and the STEM SPARK Education News are great resources. The DOE also provides an e-mail newsletter that can be subscribed to for updates from within the Department and specifically news about “Clean Energy Breakthroughs” and “Energy Saving Outlook”.
Energy Talks: Energy Talks are recorded and posted on the DOE website serve as an excellent resource for individuals to increase their energy IQ. These 10-20 minute videos feature specialists and experts from all related backgrounds speaking about specific topics, challenges and innovations. This resource provides individuals with a more specified body of knowledge.
Teaching: Educator Resources includes the education toolbox, popular downloads, online tools and videos, and education opportunities. These resources are tailored to educators from K-12 to university level. This provides educators with adaptable lesson plans and ideas for effectively teaching about energy.
Social Media Resources: Anyone with access to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram can receive updates from the DOE’s official social media accounts, which provide easy access to educational information and supplemental resources every day. @Energy on Twitter shares links to studies, educational videos, and statements from important figures in the Department and field. There is also a science-specific account @DOEscience that shares scholarly articles, opportunities, updates, and information from a wide variety of laboratories and universities multiple times a day.
Podcasts: The DOE’s flagship informational podcast “Direct Current” can be subscribed to on iTunes or the Apple Podcast app and is accessible online with transcripts and downloadable files. The series is currently in its second season and episodes can be listened to at any time, providing valuable educational material for anyone looking to learn more “on the go”.
Video Resources: The DOE’s official YouTube account provides hours worth of educational videos, presentations, and lectures organized into a number of specialized playlists to meet the interests of individual educators. Playlists include Energy101 and EnergyTalks (mentioned above), Energy Literacy, Graphic Animations, Women in STEM education, Efficiency and Renewables (the DOE’s largest playlist with 167 in-depth videos), and more.
Additional Energy Resources