National Energy Education Development Project

National Energy Education Development Project
National Energy Education Development Project
Abbreviation NEED Project
Formation 1980
Headquarters Manassas, VA, USA
CEO Mary Spruill

The National Energy Education Development Project is dedicated to promoting an energy conscious and educated society by creating effective networks of students, educators, business, government and community leaders to design and deliver objective, multi-sided energy education programs. The NEED Project's educator network includes over 65,000 classrooms nationwide who use NEED's annually up-dated curriculum materials. Educators are NEED members in order to receive updated curriculum materials, participate in workshops and inservices, and to connect to the NEED network. Membership is $35.00. In many states and localities, membership is sponsored for interested teachers by federal or state energy agencies and other NEED corporate sponsors.


The NEED Project Beginnings

Started in 1980, launched by a Congressional resolution spear headed by Gerard Katz, a New York state physics teacher, the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit education association dedicated to promoting a realistic understanding of the scientific, economic, and environmental impacts of energy so that students and teachers can make educated decisions.

On March 20, 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed Proclamation 4738, entitled "National Energy Education Day: By the President of the United States, A Proclamation." The proclamation read, in part:

"There are only two ways that we can reduce the imports of oil from foreign countries. One is to increase production of American energy of all kinds—and we have been blessed with tremendous reserves compared to other nations—and the other is to conserve the energy supplies that we have from all sources. We have made some progress. It has not yet been adequate, but it's been steady. We've more than reduced imports by a million barrels a day—and we expect to make even greater progress this year—since I've been in office, in 1977. One of the major opportunities that has not yet been explored is to educate our young people—who can be just as effective, perhaps even more so, than many adults—in the facts about energy, what the opportunities are for conservation, and how they themselves can help. In homes, on the job, in transportation—there is a tremendous opportunity not only for young people to learn but also to educate their parents about the facts concerning how we can solve our energy problem through conservation. A recent analysis has shown that there is an abysmal lack of information within the public school system among the students about basic facts concerning energy. And this designation of a national day for energy education is a very worthwhile commitment because of the facts that I've just described..."

The NEED mission

The mission of the NEED Project is to promote an energy conscious and educated society by creating effective networks of students, educators, business, government and community leaders to design and deliver objective, multi-sided energy education programs.

The NEED program includes innovative curriculum materials, professional development, evaluation tools, and recognition. NEED teaches the scientific concepts of energy and provides objective information about conventional and emerging energy sources— their use and impact on the environment, economy, and society. The program also educates students about energy efficiency and conservation while providing tools to help educators, energy managers, and consumers use energy wisely.

The NEED mission, goals, and governance are described on the program's website and include links to the organization's annual report and financial statement. NEED Project Mission

NEED’s curriculum

Experts agree students learn best by doing. NEED materials are inquiry based and incorporate the “Kids Teaching Kids” philosophy. NEED makes teaching and learning about energy exciting while developing students’ leadership and critical thinking skills.

NEED materials are available for all grade levels from kindergarten through high school. With NEED's extensive curriculum, educators can design classroom programs that spark the interest of their students and meet course objectives. NEED materials are designed to meet and correlate to the National Science Education Content Standards, as well as many state standards. Educators who use NEED materials report that their students score better on end-of-grade testing, are more actively engaged in learning, and develop leadership skills as members of the community.

To ensure that teachers and students are working with accurate information, NEED materials are updated on a regular basis, using the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as well as from a wide range of energy industry partners. NEED works with educators and students to improve existing materials and develop new ones to meet national and state curriculum requirements. In a special partnership with the Energy Information Administration, NEED helps make energy information and data available to students via the EIA Kid's Page website. In 2006, the Kid’s Page was one of the most popular EIA products—averaging over 350,000 user sessions per month. NEED welcomes partners who vitalize the NEED network with new curriculum materials and new schools. This year, a new partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company expanded the PG&E Solar Schools program to over 600 teachers in the PG&E service area. Schools receive NEED Solar Kits, Science of Energy Kits, teacher training and the opportunity to apply for photovoltaic (solar) installations and classroom grants.

In a new partnership with the College of the Mainland, Center for Process Technology, new materials and training resources will soon be released highlighting the basics of oil and natural gas exploration, production and refining. These materials explore petroleum and natural gas and the products made from them through a consumer’s eyes and with activities that explore careers in the industry.

NEED continues to grow at the national and the local level thanks to the support of committed sponsors and partners. Companies and organizations of all types and sizes work with NEED to invest in the future of energy and energy education. NEED sponsors and partners recognize the value of educating tomorrow’s workforce for careers in energy. Each partnership is unique. Each partnership considers an energy literate public a pathway to overcoming the energy challenges of the future.

The NEED curriculum is divided into eight steps; each builds on the others to form a comprehensive energy unit that encourages even the youngest students to understand how energy is involved in everything that happens in the world.

Need Curriculum is available in PDF format at the NEED website here: NEED Curriculum

Training and professional development

Teachers are the key to the success of the NEED program. NEED teachers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories reach more than four million students each year in their local schools, and many more through outreach programs. Providing teachers with innovative training programs and opportunities to increase their own energy knowledge is a major objective of the NEED program.

Training is offered at local, state, regional and national levels. During the school year, NEED coordinators, lead teachers, and student leaders facilitate workshops for teachers, students, parents, and community members that may range from a few hours to several days. At these workshops, attendees receive an introduction to the NEED curriculum. Additional training for special topics like solar, hydrogen, wind, energy on public lands, or energy management is available in many areas of the NEED network. NEED specializes in creating a first-class training experience, which is consistently scored by participants as one of the best professional development experiences available.

In the summer, the National Energy Conferences for Educators give teachers and energy professionals the opportunity to meet other educators from across the country, design and develop NEED units for their classrooms, increase their energy knowledge, and earn graduate credit. They participate in NEED activities and field trips to energy sites such as nuclear power plants, coalmines, offshore oil production facilities, solar energy facilities, hydroelectric dams, and energy efficiency projects.

In the summer of 2006, approximately 600 educators from across the country attended National Energy Conferences in Colorado, Massachusetts, Washington, New York, Texas, and California. NEED sponsors and partners provide sponsorships for teachers, and they participate as speakers and field trip guides. Some NEED states also sponsor summer energy camps for kids, spring break day camps, and overnight energy weekends. Many NEED schools work with scout troops and community youth groups to help them gain energy-related merit badges and community service hours.

NEED Energy Workshop Opportunities are listed on the NEED Calendar here: NEED Calendar

The NEED network

The long-term success of NEED depends on the support of its network. The educators, students, directors, coordinators, sponsors, and community partners who support the program say that working with NEED is one of the most rewarding things about their jobs. The board of Directors facilitates the implementation of NEED's strategic plan for expansion and helps support NEED's goal of providing an energy education program to every interested school in America. Board members volunteer their time and talents to make sure that NEED has a strong foundation and that the programs and materials reach the greatest number of people each year. Each member of the Board provides funding for the development of NEED programs.

State programs are a vital component of NEED's mission. State coordinators and NEED lead teachers, partners, and sponsors provide day-to-day guidance to local programs, conduct regional and local training programs, design and distribute materials, support teachers, and help develop new NEED programs and activities. These state programs make NEED work at the local level—helping connect the state education standards to NEED programs and materials. NEED stays connected to its network via its newsletters— Energy Exchange and Career Currents—and a variety of resources and opportunities available on NEED's website,, and many outreach events each year. Energy Exchange provides teachers, students, and sponsors with information and activities about energy and exciting new technologies and discoveries. NEED’s new newsletter, Career Currents, exposes students to the diversity of energy careers. Both newsletters are distributed bimonthly, and all issues are available on

With a new look this year, gives teachers a resource for curriculum publications and activity guides, a place to discuss their NEED programs, and links to a variety of supplemental resources. The website also provides students with methods for choosing science fair experiments, fact sheets for research projects, activities to reinforce knowledge, and resources on the nation's leading energy sources, electricity, and conservation. NEED also partners with the Energy Information Administration on their EIA Kid’s Page, the premier site for kids to find reliable, up-to-date energy information and loads of fun energy activities.

Since its inception in 1980, NEED has grown from a one-day celebration of energy awareness to a national organization dedicated o introducing energy into the curriculum at every grade level. This growth would be impossible without the continued support of NEED's sponsors and partners at the national, state, and local level ho provide funding, time, energy, and technical assistance. NEED sponsors and partners believe in the importance of a comprehensive energy education program that helps teachers and students understand energy and its impacts on their world.

Current NEED Energy Education Programs

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company Solar Schools Program:

Begun in 2004, the PG&E Solar Schools Program has installed over 100 solar photovoltaic electrical systems in K-12 public schools throughout its service area. The program also funds free NEED energy education workshops and Bright Ideas grants of up to $10,000 for innovative educational projects. PG&E Solar Schools Program homepage

Texas TXU Energy Solar Academy:

TXU Energy brings solar energy education to the classroom in the TXU Energy Solar Academy. TXU Energy provided a contribution to the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project to launch a solar education program that helps teachers meet the requirements of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), helps students and their families understand basic energy concepts and brings solar demonstration installations to local communities. TXU Energy Solar Academy homepage

ConocoPhillips Energy Education program:

ConocoPhillips sponsors a series of free K-12 workshops held throughout the nation. This workshop series presents a unique opportunity for classroom teachers (K-12) to learn about energy in a fun and exciting way! The seminars will create awareness of today’s energy challenges and the importance of using energy wisely. Participation in this workshop provides educators with more than $500 of curriculum and hands-on kits that teach about energy resources and energy transformations through hands-on activities. Participants receive the NEED Science of Energy Kit, a basic NEED curriculum set and a class-set of NEED's Energy Infobooks at grade level. Curriculum and training is aligned with state education standards. ConocoPhillips/NEED homepage ConocoPhillips Energy Workshop Videos

List of Sponsors and Partners

  1. Albuquerque Public Schools
  2. American Association of Blacks in Energy
  3. American Electric Power
  4. American Electric Power Foundation
  5. American Petroleum Institute
  6. American Petroleum Institute - Houston Chapter
  7. American Public Power Association
  8. American Solar Energy Society
  9. American Wind Energy Association
  10. Aramco Services Company
  11. Armstrong Energy
  12. Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs
  13. All Wild About Kentucky's Environment
  14. Baker Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, and Berkowitz, PC
  15. Robert L. Bayless, Producer, LLC
  16. BP
  17. BP Exploration - Alaska
  18. BP Foundation
  19. BP Solar
  20. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior
  21. C&E Operators
  22. Cape and Island Self Reliance
  23. Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
  24. Cape Light Compact
  25. L.J. and Wilma Carr
  26. Center for the Advancement of Process Technology at College of the Mainland
  27. Central Main Power Company
  28. Charles Coll
  29. Chesapeake Public Schools - Virginia
  30. Chevron
  31. Chevron Energy Solutions
  32. City of Melrose - Massachusetts
  33. Colorado Energy Science Center
  34. Commonwealth Edison - ComEd
  35. ConEd Solutions
  36. ConocoPhillips
  37. CPS Energy
  38. Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Texas
  39. Dart Foundation
  40. David Petroleum
  41. David Sorenson
  42. Desk and Derrick of Roswell, New Mexico
  43. Devon Energy
  44. Dominion
  45. Dominion Foundation
  46. Duke Energy Indiana
  47. Duke Energy Kentucky
  48. Duke Energy North Carolina
  49. Duke Energy South Carolina
  50. East Kentucky Power
  51. El Paso Corporate Foundation - Southern Natural Gas
  52. E.M.G. Oil Properties
  53. EnCana
  54. Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  55. Energy Training Solutions
  56. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy
  57. Equitable Resources
  58. Escambia County Public Schools - Florida
  59. FPL Energy Encounter
  60. First Roswell Company
  61. Foundation for Environmental Education
  62. Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority
  63. Robert Gorham
  64. Guam Energy Office
  65. Gulf Power - Southern Company
  66. Halliburton Foundation
  67. Gerald Harrington, Geologist
  68. Houston Museum of Natural Science
  69. Hydropower Research Foundation and the National Hydropower Association
  70. Idaho Department of Education
  71. Idaho National Laboratory
  72. Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation
  73. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  74. Independent Petroleum Association
  75. Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico
  76. Indiana Office of Energy Development
  77. Interstate Renewable Energy Council
  78. Iowa Energy Center
  79. Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition
  80. Kentucky Office of Energy Policy
  81. KY Office of Energy Policy, Division of Fossil Fuels and Utility Services
  82. Kentucky Oil and Gas Association
  83. Kentucky Propane Education & Research Council
  84. Kentucky River Properties
  85. Kentucky Soybean Board
  86. Kentucky Utilities
  87. KeySpan Energy
  88. KidWind
  89. Llano Land and Exploration
  90. Long Island Power Authority
  91. Louisville Gas and Electric
  92. Maine Energy Education Project
  93. Maine Public Service Company
  94. Marianas Islands Energy Office
  95. Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources
  96. Michigan Energy Office
  97. Michigan Oil and Gas Producers Education Foundation
  98. Minerals Management Service, US Department of the Interior
  99. Minerals Management Service, Alaska Region
  100. Minerals Management Service, Gulf Coast Region
  101. Minerals Management Service, Pacific Region
  102. Mississippi Development Authority - Energy Division
  103. Montana Energy Education Council
  104. Narragansett Electric - A National Grid Company
  105. NASA Educator Resource Center - WV
  106. Natinoal Alternative Fuels Training Center - West Virginia University
  107. National Association of State Energy Officials
  108. National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges
  109. National Biodiesel Board
  110. National Fuel
  111. National Hydrogen Association
  112. National Hydropower Association
  113. National Ocean Industries Association
  114. National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  115. Nebraska Public Power District
  116. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
  117. New Mexico Landmen's Association
  118. New Mexico Oil Corporation
  119. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
  120. New York Power Authority
  121. North Carolina Department of Administration, State Energy Office
  122. Offshore Energy Center/OceanStar
  123. Offshore Technology Conference
  124. Ohio Energy Project
  125. Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  126. Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association
  127. PNM
  128. Poudre School District - Colorado
  129. Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration
  130. Puget Sound Energy
  131. Read and Stevens, Inc.
  132. Rhode Island State Energy Office
  133. Roswell Geological Survey
  134. Roswell Independent School District - New Mexico
  135. Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  136. Saudi Aramco
  137. Carl A. Schellinger
  138. Sentech, Inc.
  139. Shell Exploration and Production
  140. Snohomis County Public Utility District - Washington
  141. Society of Petroleum Engineers
  142. David Sorenson
  143. Southern LNG
  144. Southwest Gas
  145. Spring Branch Independent School District - Texas
  146. Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development
  147. Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association
  148. Toyota
  149. TransOptions, Inc.
  150. TXU Energy
  151. United States Department of Energy
  152. United States Department of Energy - Wind for Schools Project
  153. United States Department of Energy - Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and Infrastructure Technologies
  154. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  155. United Illuminating Company
  156. University of Nevada - Las Vegas
  157. Virgin Islands Energy Office
  158. Virginia Department of Education
  159. Virginia General Assembly
  160. Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy
  161. W. Plack Carr Company
  162. Wake County, North Carolina Public Schools - EnergySavers Program
  163. Western Kentucky Science Alliance
  164. Wyoming Ag in the Classroom
  165. Yates Energy Corporation
  166. Yates Petroleum

Sponsors and Partners Page

External links

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