Tag Archives: STEM education

State senator wants study on more nuclear energy generation

By Andrew Ozaki, KETV

Could more nuclear energy be the answer to providing power during extreme weather events and curbing global warming. One Nebraska lawmaker wants to spend a million dollars of federal recovery money to study if advanced reactor technology would work in Nebraska. “Nationally and internationally this has been recognized now as a need that we have to have this type of technology in order to reach that zero-carbon,” state Sen. Bruce Bostelman said. He also points to a year ago when most of the country was thrown into a polar plunge. Read more or watch the video here.

LB1100: Appropriate federal funds to the Department of Economic Development for a feasibility study relating to nuclear reactors

Previously Posted Research

Department of Energy Nuclear Energy News & Resources

NUCLEAR FUSION “SCIENCE ON SATURDAY” TOPIC

The 2022 Science on Saturday series presented by DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on “Energy and the Environment” showcases the Lab’s research and technology on environmental issues and climate change. Geared toward high school and middle school students, the virtual series is FREE. Click the above link to join the discussions and download companion student worksheets.
Sign in: 11:45 a.m. Central Time. Presentations begin at 12 p.m. 

Past presentations can be viewed on LLNL’s Science on Saturday YouTube channel

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Tri-State strife over cost, coal highlights energy transition challenge, S&P Global

Two of Tri-State’s distribution co-ops left in 2016 and 2020, respectively, for an up-and-coming power provider that fronted nearly $100 million in early exit fees. Tri-State’s largest member, Colorado’s United Power Inc., gave notice Dec. 14, 2021, that it intends to depart as well. Two days later, Poudre Valley REA Inc. followed suit, as did Northwest Rural Pub Power District in Nebraska on Dec. 30, 2021. 

United Power, Northwest and five others are participating in a February 2021 complaint before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over Tri-State’s exit fee calculations, which suggests that more members might be on their way out. A FERC administrative judge will hear the case in 2022.

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

Clean Energy Buyers Association Announces Top 10 U.S. Energy Customers in 2021, CEBA News Release, Business Wire

In 2021, CEBA introduced a simple, yet powerful vision of customer-driven clean energy for all. The 2021 Deal Tracker Top 10 demonstrates the scale and influence of energy customers that have contracted nearly 47 gigawatts of clean energy – about 20% of all wind and solar capacity in the U.S. – over the last decade. As a business trade association, CEBA will continue to catalyze its community of nearly 300 members thorough foundational education, stakeholder collaboration and acceleration of advanced and innovative market strategies.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Waverly middle schoolers design winning Future Cities

By Sam Crisler, The Waverly News, Wahoo Newspaper

WAVERLY – The year is 2121, and the world’s energy reserves are plentiful, public transportation is accessible at the touch of a button, and local economies are self-sustaining. This is the utopia imagined and designed by a group of Waverly Middle School eighth graders who took home first place at the Nebraska Regional Future City Competition in late January. It was the first time Waverly students had participated in the competition, and the team is in the middle of two weekends of virtual presentations as part of the national competition. Continue reading and see photos here.

Ohio Can Lead the Electric Vehicle and Clean Energy Economy

Expert Blog by Daniel Sawmiller
Natural Resources Defense Council

Driven primarily by projected electric vehicle (EV) demand, the global Lithium-ion battery industry and its associated supply chain have committed more than $600B in funding towards launching new electric vehicle models. This includes large scale investment in mineral extraction, chemical processing, anode and cathode production, cell production, recycling facilities and the provision of EV component parts.

The GM and LG Chem announcement of the Ultium Cells battery factory has opened up new possibilities for Ohio. Already a powerhouse in the automotive supply chain, Ohio has a unique opportunity to capture  investment and establish the state as a hub for the EV and battery industries. However, competition for EV supply chain manufacturing investment in North America—and around the globe—is intensifying and deals are being negotiated and announced right now, making it essential for the state to move quickly. Decisions made over the next two years will shape the footprint of auto production for decades. Continue reading here.

NRDC Now Hiring

More Articles, News Briefs & Resources

News Briefs & Resources from DOE & Other Sources

STEM Education Events 

Engineers Week starts February 20. Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, the event is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.

Students can get advice in this profile from DOE’s archives about engineer Jennifer Hoynack, and check out DOE’s engineering programs like Argonne’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Brookhaven National Lab’s annual bridge building competition, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, Sandia’s Athena Engineering Scholars Program, and more on the STEM Rising website.

The 2022 Science on Saturday series presented by DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on “Energy and the Environment” showcases the Lab’s research and technology on environmental issues and climate change. Geared toward high school and middle school students, the virtual series is FREE. Click the above link to join the discussions and download companion student worksheets.
Sign in: 11:45 a.m. Central Time. Presentations begin at 12 p.m. 

Past presentations can be viewed on LLNL’s Science on Saturday YouTube channel

New state funding puts solar on the curriculum for Minnesota schools

By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

A new, first-of-its-kind state fund could help triple the number of solar installations on Minnesota K-12 schools and community colleges. Minnesota ranked 11th in the country last year for solar capacity on school buildings, with 157 installations identified in a national industry report. That leaves hundreds of rooftops with the potential to host money-saving solar projects.

School districts are at a disadvantage when it comes to solar financing since they do not pay taxes and thus can’t take advantage of state and federal tax credits. State lawmakers voted this month to provide an alternative source of funding designed to spur as many as 350 new projects on educational buildings. Read more here.

Solar panels on a school rooftop in Oregon. New state funding could help triple such installations on Minnesota K-12 schools and community colleges. Credit: Portland General Electric / Creative Commons

Careers in Green Building & Other STEM Rising Resources

The U.S. Department of Energy’s newsletter, STEM Rising, includes DOE and partnering agencies and organizations’ Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) news and resources. Visit the STEM Rising website to learn more about this initiative and subscribe to the newsletter.

The following resources on careers in green building are among those in the latest issue:

Also Included in the STEM Rising Newsletter:

Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Pushes For Diversity In STEM

“The data makes it clear that we need diversity in science, technology, engineering and math,” Secretary Granholm said at a roundtable discussion on racial disparities in STEM fields held at Howard University May 3. “We really want to see a diverse pipeline of our future workforce and our problem-solvers and scientists.” The Secretary’s remarks came with an announcement of a $17.3 million investment in research and internship opportunities, with a focus on increasing diversity in STEM. Read more about it here, and watch the roundtable discussion here.

Free Virtual Event for High School Girls Interested in Technology

GirlCon is an event for high school girls organized entirely by students for the fourth year running. At this virtual event June 27-30, panelists from the National Nuclear Security Association, DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, and DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will share their role in government, and how they’re working to apply artificial intelligence to energy, climate, and nuclear weapons, as well as sustainable energy and national security. Tune in and register for this free event at GirlCon.org. Registration closes June 25 at 11:59 p.m.

MORE DOE RESOURCES

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Initiatives and Projects

All EERE Offices

From The White House Briefing Room: FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Accelerates Efforts to Create Jobs Making American Buildings More Affordable, Cleaner, and Resilient

Innovative Homes, Energy Careers Featured in New Virtual Sessions Offered by Solar Decathlon

Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® has inspired more than 450 collegiate teams and 23,000 students worldwide. In addition to the focus on tomorrow’s leaders, the Solar Decathlon has a foundational goal of providing educational programs and opportunities for the general public.

In September, the Solar Decathlon will start a new series of 10 virtual sessions with topics ranging from tours of houses with innovative designs to residential energy usage to jobs in the energy sector. Offered at no cost, these webinars are available to the general public and cater specifically to current and prospective homeowners, members of the real-estate industry, educators, students and young professionals, home builders, renovation contractors, and others interested in viewing state-of-the-art homes.

During a traditional Solar Decathlon Build Challenge event, thousands would converge on the educational tents to learn more about these topics. Through these monthly webinars, virtual “visitors” can access this exclusive content from the comfort of their homes.

Below are additional details on each planned webinar.

  • Solar 101 – How Solar Energy Works
    Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 12-1 pm 
    Learn more about this webinar and register here
  • Discovering Clean Energy Careers
    Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 12-1 pm 
    Learn more about this webinar and register here
  • A Virtual Hands-On Energy Workshop for Families
    Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 12-1 pm 
    Learn more about this webinar and register here
  • Solar Student Leaders of Tomorrow Showcase
    Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 12-1 pm 
    Learn more about this webinar and register here
  • Resilient Home 411: Strategies to Weather and Recover from Natural Disasters
    Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 12-1 pm 
    Learn more about this webinar and register here
  • Zero Energy Ready Homes: New and Growing Fast
    Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 12-1 pm 
    Learn more about this webinar and register here
  • The Future of Solar: A Tour of Cutting-Edge Solar Research with the U.S. Department of Energy
    Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 12-1 pm 
    Learn more about this webinar and register here
  • Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Team House Tour
    Friday, April 16, 2021, 12-1 pm 
    Learn more about this webinar and register here
  • Winning Solar Home – The DOE Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Winners
    Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 12-1 pm 
    Learn more about this webinar and register here

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The Design Challenge is a one-to-two-semester, design-only competition, while the Build Challenge is a multiyear design-build competition.

The most successful teams will complement architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart on-site energy production. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon continues to “push the envelope” on the design of high-performance, efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities.

Additional details are on the Solar Decathlon website.

Facebook awards grants to Sarpy organizations

By Brody Hilgenkamp, Papillion Times /Omaha World-Herald

Facebook and the Papillion Data Center announced its Community Action Grant recipients to 13 organizations in Sarpy County. The grants were awarded to organizations that use technology for community benefit, connect people online or off or improve STEM education. Read more here.

Facebook’s Leadership on 100% Renewable Energy

RE100: Facebook is among 230 influential companies that have made a commitment to 100% renewable energy. Additionally, a growing number of RE100 members are working with their global supply chains to help them transition to renewable energy.

REBA: Facebook is also a member of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands. REBA’s Vision

REBA Initiatives
Business Renewables Center
Renewable Energy Buyers Principles
Green Tariff Tracking
Future of Internet Power

Previously Posted

Interested in solar energy? Nebraska Public Power District can help make that interest a reality

NPPD News Release

Residents of Scottsbluff who are interested in having solar energy as part of their electricity options, now have the opportunity! The City of Scottsbluff, in cooperation and partnership with Nebraska Public Power District, will again offer community solar shares to their customers in Scottsbluff. A second community solar project is under construction in Scottsbluff, located near Landers Soccer Complex. The 4.375-megawatt solar farm, scheduled to go live this spring, will begin taking registration for shares from Scottsbluff residents and businesses on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. The initial solar farm, located at NPPD’s Scottsbluff office, was well received and sold out immediately. Continue reading here.

More Nebraska News

Wayne State partners with UNL to offer dual-degree program, Kearney Hub
The goals of the partnership are to provide education platforms in resilient food, energy, water and societal systems in alignment with career opportunities, as well as prepare teachers and curriculum to respond to the increased need for agricultural science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educators.

Trinity to showcase STEM lab at event

By Tammy Real-McKeighan, Fremont Tribune


Could Reese Barton be a budding engineer? Only time will tell for the fourth-grader at Trinity Lutheran School in Fremont. But on Wednesday morning, Reese spoke enthusiastically while participating in the school’s new STEM lab, where renovations are underway.

Continue reading here.

Photo by Tammy Real-McKeighan

 

Nebraska Solar Schools’ NEED Solar Energy Kits Project (PDF)
Trinity Lutheran School in Fremont is one of many statewide K-12 schools now participating in Nebraska Solar Schools’ National Energy Education Development (NEED) project in which teachers and principals are provided free solar energy kits upon request and for as long as quantities last for their classrooms and after-school STEM programs, through a generous grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. Solar beads, or UV Beads, mentioned in the article, is just one of many activities among the curriculum materials included in two of the NEED kits: The Sun and Its Energy for Grades K-2 and Wonders of the Sun for Grades 3-5.

How far and fast can OPPD push toward ‘zero carbon’ energy future? Study seeks answers, costs

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

The Omaha Public Power District is studying how far it can push toward generating the region’s electricity without the carbon emissions that scientists say contribute to a changing climate.  The study’s findings could hold significance for the future of OPPD’s coal-fired plants, including its north Omaha power plant, which burns coal and natural gas, and its plant in Nebraska City, its largest that burns coal. It might also influence which types of power plants OPPD builds in the future, whether for addressing the power grid’s needs at peak usage times or for additional capacity, board members say. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Report puts $4.5 trillion price tag on grid decarbonization, American Public Power Association

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