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K-12 Outreach

Bringing Clean Energy to the Classroom

Due to the closure of public schools arising from the state’s COVID-19 response, the Clean Energy Institute has temporarily suspended in-school outreach visits. However, we are still committed to providing science outreach during these times.

CEI will be offering virtual alternatives accessible to teachers and their students online, such as Meet A Scientist sessions that showcase ask-and-learn type of presentations.

If you are a teacher and want to have a CEI Ambassador lead a virtual lesson for your students, please sign up here. Please tell us the format that you are currently using for e-learning with your students.

Outreach to the university, K-12 students and public is an important part of the CEI mission to increase public understanding of the promise of alternative energy, storage systems, and smart grids. We aim to get students interested in STEM careers by connecting them with CEI Clean Energy Ambassadors: UW graduate and undergraduate students in STEM fields who lead students in hands-on activities and present at community events such as the Pacific Science Center Engineering Weekend and Engineering Discovery Days. Ambassadors benefit by honing their skills at communicating science to the public and gain first hand experience with programs that support broader impacts. Washington state teachers can request a visit by a Clean Energy Ambassador for a classroom, stem fair or community event for 4th-12th grade students. Ambassador activities include Solar Car Races, a Meet a Scientist presentation, or any of our Lessons including hands-on workshops on Mini Solar Panels or Solar Spinners.

Two students hold their solar spinners - solar panels glued to petri dish lids - underneath a high-intensity lamp.
5th-grade students at Lynnwood, WA's Hilltop Elementary enjoyed the hands-on solar spinner activity.

CEI can also arrange a tour of the MolES/NanoES Building at UW, and/or a workshop for secondary school groups. These typically involve about 1 hour of lab visits, a tour of tools such as the electronic microscope, and a presentation and hands-on workshop. Due to heavily used instruments and busy labs, we are limited to one tour event a month, and a last-minute cancellation fee may apply.

Teachers in eastern Washington can arrange visits from the Science in Action team at Gonzaga University, and the Collins Research Group at WSU.

Request a Visit by a Clean Energy Ambassador

Please sign up 3-4 weeks in advance to allow us to schedule and find volunteers.

Educators Newsletter

CEI distributes a newsletter for K-12 teachers three times a year (Fall, Winter and Spring). Each issue focuses on a specific science area and provides readings, lesson plans, and other links to help educators bring state-of-the-art research to the classroom.