The World of Water Power Is Just One Click Away: Visit the Expanded STEM Portals Today

Nov. 11, 2020 | Contact media relations

The first step toward an inspiring career in water power could be as close as the click of your mouse.

This summer, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), launched the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and workforce development portals for water power technologies.

Comprising the STEM Hydropower Portal and the STEM Marine Renewable Energy Portal, these comprehensive tools offer would-be water power warriors the resources they need to embark upon rewarding careers in exciting and—in the case of marine energy—emerging fields.

Marine energy and hydropower are poised to play a growing role in our renewable energy future; however, there are challenges in filling hydropower jobs and attracting talent with the necessary skills to help marine energy advance and commercialize. Inspiring and energizing tomorrow’s workforce is key to ensuring these critical technologies' viability and expansion.

“Our goal in developing the portals is to create a one-stop shop for both students and educators to learn about water power technologies as well as potential career tracks,” said NREL Senior Researcher Jennifer Daw. “We want to ensure that training for tomorrow’s workforce begins today.”

Photo of a woman and a man near a body of water, wearing lifejackets; a boat is behind them. The man is holding a long pole with seaweed on the end of it.
Has the thought of a career in water power got you ready to dive in? Check out our STEM Portal resources and take the plunge. Photo by Ian Gagnon, U.S. Department of Energy

From Drizzle to Downpour

The days may be shrinking with winter’s arrival, but the portals are not! Since the July launch, the websites have continued to grow their vast repository of resources, thanks, in part, to the support of our many partners: the Hydropower Foundation, IKM, KidWind, Mystic Aquarium, the National Energy Education Development Project, the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, and the Oceans First Institute.

We are excited to present several new additions to this extensive source of water power wisdom.

“Featuring new content ranging from best practices in partnership building to career pathways case studies, the updated portals offer a complete picture of the industry and how to become part of it,” said Ruth Baranowski, NREL energy market research analyst.

As of this month, the STEM Hydropower Portal and the STEM Marine Renewable Energy Portal added the following features to their collection of offerings:

  • Workforce Data and Analysis: Both the Hydropower Portal and the Marine Renewable Energy Portal released additional content on industry-led education and training programs.
  • Resources:
    • New to the Hydropower Portal are career pathways case studies, showcasing real-life examples of hydropower careers worldwide. Covering positions such as hydropower project superintendent, hydropower biologist, electrician constructor crew chief, and more, the collection of career pathway videos provides would-be water power workers a glimpse into a day-in-the-life on the job.
    • The Marine Renewable Energy Portal complemented their Resources page with a host of college- and graduate-school-geared education and training programs. Additionally, the page is home to an assortment of other educator resources which can be adapted for many grade levels, such as visualizations, animations, videos, and games, along with curricula pacing guides and lesson plans.
  • Network and Career Building: Best practices to enabling partnerships are now part of the Hydropower Portal. This compilation of publications offers a summary of collaboration best practices to strengthen local and regional workforces.

An immense expanse of opportunity awaits—and the STEM Hydropower and Marine Renewable Energy Portals are your pathways there! Learn more about the exciting features of these recently launched portals and help contribute to their further development. Join us for an upcoming workshop on Thursday, Nov. 19. Part of an ongoing series of STEM workshops, the STEM to Marine Energy Dialogue Workshop will be co-located with the ME Strategic Meeting. Dive in, swim about, and learn more about water power’s potential.

Explore what the future might hold for you with a career in water power. Visit the STEM Hydropower and Marine Renewable Energy Portals today and learn more.