What You’ll Learn
- Find out more about how the Salal Foundation’s support for the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project helped educate the clean energy innovators of tomorrow.
Global climate change is a challenge that affects us all. We’re taking steps to address the climate crisis not only today, but tomorrow as well by equipping future generations with the education they need. That’s why we’ve partnered with the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project.
Since 1980, the NEED Project has been providing students and teachers with hands-on learning resources focused on renewable energy. Through the NEED Project, Salal Foundation helped provide K-12 students with the opportunity to study topics such as electricity generation and transmission, battery-powered transportation, and energy conservation at home and at school.
All materials are reviewed and updated annually by NEED’s Teacher Advisory Board and additions are made to enhance the curriculum. In the past year, Salal Foundation funding has helped the NEED Project provide fifty K-12 classrooms with solar energy learning kits.
Kits were delivered to schools in California, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington. The solar education kits included engaging topics like “The Sun and its Energy” and “Exploring Photovoltaics,” as well as equipment such as light meters and small-scale solar panels students can use outside.
We’ve since heard great things from the teachers who used these kits in their classrooms, including this note from a science teacher in Leadore, Idaho:
“I’m writing this short message to thank you for the solar kits we received by your generous donation. I teach at a very small, rural school in eastern Idaho. I used the solar kits to teach my Environmental Science class about alternative energy. We used these wonderful kits to study the sun’s energy we receive every day, yet do not fully appreciate.
My class is composed of only eight students, all juniors and seniors. Some of these students had been introduced to solar energy before. Others had no background at all in the topic. I used a couple of days to introduce solar energy to my students and then we used the solar kits and the NEED activities provided. My students dove right into the curriculum. I monitored the groups to answer questions or direct them if they were confused. Otherwise, I stayed out of the way and let them explore and learn. I really enjoyed the use of the multimeters and the solar panels to help them explore the variables of the solar panel’s arrangement and the energy that can be produced. We also made solar cookers from U-Haul boxes and cooked s’mores as a way to introduce solar energy that is very useable on a small-scale level, but easily captured.
I am going to use the equipment and curriculum again after our Christmas break with a younger Environmental Science class I am teaching. I expect to be as pleased as I was with my older group of students. Once again, thank you for the generous donation to our school and science program.”
— Shane Matson, Science Teacher, Leadore, ID