Programs for Teachers

The Visiting Faculty Program, Energy Institute for Teachers, and STEM teacher-research programs at NREL promote excellence in teaching and contribute to improving critical elements of the science, mathematics, and technology education system.

Teachers at a hands-on wind energy experiment.

Visiting Faculty Program

The Visiting Faculty Program seeks to increase the research competitiveness of faculty members and their students to expand the workforce vital to the U.S. Department of Energy's mission. As part of the program, selected university/college faculty members collaborate with laboratory research staff on a project of mutual interest. Faculty member participants may invite up to two students to participate in hands-on research at NREL during the summer.

For more information about the Visiting Faculty Program at NREL, contact Chris Nash.

Faculty-Applied Clean Energy Sciences

The Faculty-Applied Clean Energy Sciences program connects university and college faculty from minority-serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and historically Black colleges and universities with NREL researchers to develop skills in clean energy science. The 10-week program—targeting faculty who serve historically underrepresented populations—aims to empower participants to implement clean energy curriculum into their classrooms.

Teacher Professional Development: Summer 2024

NREL is committed to providing professional development opportunities for formal educators who want to integrate renewable energy and energy efficiency components into their curriculum. For the summer of 2024, educators and scientists from NREL will again partner with the Colorado School of Mines/Nexus to offer high school teachers from across Colorado a professional development workshop focused on renewable energy education. The materials and curriculum we develop will enable teachers to integrate the latest renewable energy research into their high school chemistry and physics classes. To register, contact the program coordinator.

STEM Teacher and Researcher Program

STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) is a 9-week paid summer research experience program for future K–12 STEM teachers. The program pairs aspiring STEM teachers with researchers and scientists at research laboratories such as NREL and allows them to gain firsthand experience in applied research settings. STAR also supports the continued development of our teacher-researcher fellows with ongoing professional development and networking opportunities. Learn more and apply through the STAR website.

Additional Resources

The Algae Summer Science Institute is a 2-day intensive, hands-on professional development workshop where teachers work through the Algae Foundation's Algae Academy curriculum. The Algae Academy is a 5-day program for K–12 students that uses STEM kits and Next Generation Science Standards-aligned curriculum to teach how algae can be used as a renewable energy resource. The kits are free and available to teachers for both fall and spring semesters.

Find books, videos, and other energy education resources for students in grades K–8.