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Programs for Teachers

NREL's Visiting Faculty Program and Energy Institute for Teachers promote excellence in teaching and contribute to improving critical elements of the science, mathematics, and technology education system. 

Engineers test the SmartGrid Inverter at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF).

Visiting Faculty Program (VFP)

Visiting Faculty Program (VFP), seeks to increase the research competitiveness of faculty members and their students at institutions historically underrepresented in the research community in order to expand the workforce vital to the Department of Energy (DOE) mission areas. As part of the program, selected university/college faculty members collaborate with DOE laboratory research staff on a research project of mutual interest. Faculty member participants may invite up to two students (one of which may be a graduate student) to participate in hands-on research at NREL during the summer.

For more information about the VFP program, contact Linda Lung.

Energy Institute for Teachers

The NREL Energy Institute for Teachers is a five-day workshop that offers educators lessons and resources to integrate renewable energy and energy efficiency components into existing courses in subjects ranging from chemistry and physics to biology and environmental science classes.

During the week-long workshop, teachers participate in a variety of activities tied to NREL research including:

  • Building and testing wind turbine blades utilizing multi-meters and water pumps
  • Testing solar panels creating current voltage curves using rheostats and multimeters
  • Determining the optimum form of lighting based on the bulb's brightness, its cost and its power requirements
  • Chemically producing biodiesel fuel and performing quality control viscosity tests
  • Meeting scientists and touring the world class facilities at NREL.

Program Requirements

  • Participate in the one week summer program.
  • Implement one lesson in the fall or spring.
  • Local teachers receive a stipend of $250 for the one week program.
  • Teachers living 50+ miles away receive five nights of lodging at the Denver West Marriott
  • $250 for submission of completed lesson plan.
  • $300 follow-up fall implementation.
  • Receive resource books and materials.
  • Receive graduate credit available through the Colorado School of Mines.

If you are interested in applying, contact Linda Lung.

See Educational Resources for Energy Institute for Teachers lessons.