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Student Programs

Engaging students in science and engineering activities opens the door for study and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. NREL offers a range of activities for elementary school, middle school, high school, and college students. Our goal is to capture the imagination and curiosity of young scholars and encourage them to pursue careers in science and engineering.

To schedule or ask about a program, contact Sarah Barba at 303-275-3023. Reservations must be made at least one month in advance. The maximum group size is 30 students to three chaperones; the minimum group size is 15 students to one chaperone.

Certified science educators provide hands-on learning experiences for students that provide fun and imaginative ways to use inquiry while they learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency. Programs are tied to Colorado's common core academic standards.

Student programs for grades 4–12 are offered Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and noon – 1:30 p.m. College programs are offered Monday and Friday afternoons.

Elementary School

Watts Up with Electricity?

Students, grades 4-5, learn how electricity is generated or converted and discover the relationship between magnetism and electricity. In addition to a multimedia presentation, students experience hands-on activities such as hand-crank generators, solar power experiments, and wind farm modeling.

Middle School

Exploring Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Students, grades 6-8, are introduced to how energy is currently produced in the United States and the scope of Americans' annual energy use. Students learn how NREL researches and develops renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and transfers this knowledge to companies and manufacturers to address the nation's energy and environmental goals. Activities include photovoltaic (solar) panel experiments, solar resource assessments using solar-powered meters, testing the efficiency of different lighting options, and constructing a wind farm model.

High School

Renewable Energy Technologies and Careers

NREL employs a wide range of technical and non-technical professionals to advance research and development in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Students, grades 9-12, are introduced to cutting-edge research being conducted at the laboratory and to a variety of science, technology, and mathematics career paths.

Energy in Today's Global Society

Students, grades 9-12, are introduced to ongoing energy-related environmental problems. Students are then given an introduction to renewable energy research and technology being developed at NREL and how these technologies can have a beneficial impact.

College

NREL's Living Laboratory: An Introduction to Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Energy Integration Research

NREL employs a wide range of technical and non-technical professionals to advance research and development in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Community college, undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, are introduced to cutting-edge research at the laboratory and to a variety of science, technology, and mathematics career paths. They learn about renewable fuels and power, market applications, and economic impacts.