NREL's Education Center Programs
There are a variety of educational programs offered through NREL's education center to inspire our community to explore the science of NREL's research. Find out more about our scheduled programs for 4th grade—college-aged students, community group tours, and power lunch lectures. Visit NREL in the community for the latest news for NREL neighbors, campus and trail maps, and more.
Programs for Adults
Knowledgeable NREL volunteers lead adult programs for interested community members. Programs include an introduction to NREL and discussions about innovations in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies as well as campus and building tours. Adult programs are available at no charge.
NREL exemplifies environmental sustainability throughout its operations. Visitors to our main South Table Mountain campus will learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency research, and see how the campus is demonstrating clean energy technologies, reducing waste, and eliminating atmospheric pollution.
Tours are held the third Friday of each month from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. The tour is a vigorous, outdoor walking tour, so visitors are urged to wear comfortable walking shoes and to dress for the weather. The tours start at the NREL Education Center and include the Research Support Facility, NREL Parking Garage, and Central Detention Pond. View the South Table Mountain main campus map.
Sign Up for a Tour
Participants must be 18 or older, a U.S. Citizen, and have photo ID. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Contact the Education Center at 303-384-6565 to check availability and make a reservation.
NREL's monthly Power Lunch/After-Hours Lecture Series highlights cutting-edge research at NREL and topics of interest to the community. Visit the Education Center Events Calendar for information on upcoming lectures.
Programs for Students
Certified science educators provide hands-on learning experiences for students that provide fun and imaginative ways to learn about the science of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Student programs for grades 4–12 are offered regularly – please contact us for more information. The maximum group size is 30 students to three chaperones; the minimum group size is 15 students to one chaperone. Reservations must be made at least one month in advance.
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.
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.
Energy in Today's Global Society
Students 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. Students also are introduced to a variety of science, technology and mathematics career paths.
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.