New Methods of Teaching Renewable Energy to Students

EPA Grant Number: SU835068
Title: New Methods of Teaching Renewable Energy to Students
Investigators: Jacobson, Mark Z.
Institution: Stanford University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: II
Project Period: August 15, 2011 through August 14, 2013
Project Amount: $36,500
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2011) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability


We have set out to teach a new generation of students about the fundamentals of global warming and renewable energy. We found that standard outreach approaches require time, money and flexibility that most teachers do not have.

In response, we have designed a new way to introduce renewable energy in K-12 classrooms. Rather than writing how-to guides or curriculum tools, we prefabricated lab kits that teach California Science Standards with themes of renewable energy.


Now, we will expand our work to begin creating the behavioral change that we sought at the outset. We will use the funding to pay for two or more students to intern at the Silicon Valley Energy Lab to work full-time on developing the program; this would mean designing more Tape & Scissors renewable energy kits, expanding on SVEL’s solar power workshop, and most importantly supporting and reaching out to school administrators and science teachers to generate interest and increase participation.

Expected Results:

We hope to begin spreading the kits to many schools and producing them en masse. With the funding, we would be able to reach out to educational conferences, publications and websites. The additional money would allow us, we believe, to convert our project from a “beta-testing” research stage into a full-fledged outreach program.

Supplemental Keywords:

Teaching, students, education, renewable energy, classrooms, activities, science labs,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2012
  • Final