From Mary E. Spruill, Executive Director

June 2014

As we wrap up the 2013-2014 school year, all of us at NEED take a moment to think about the great things that have happened this year.  This list is very long!  I am reminded what a great team of teachers, students, and partners NEED has. The NEED network has become what we always hoped it would be:  teachers, students,and partners working together to understand energy and to teach others. 

It is this common goal – learning and teaching about energy – that makes NEED unique.  While some organizations simply create lessons to meet new learning standards or produce curriculum for certain topics, NEED has always believed that teaching about energy is important – no matter how many standards it fulfills in the classroom.  Teachers and students, and the general public, must understand energy to make smart energy decisions. NEED’s expertise continues to be in collaborating with educators to create the best energy curriculum and training available. Even more important, we want it to be fun for teachers and for students. 

The teacher training, the curriculum development, the teacher and school grants, and the student leadership development activities would not be possible without a great staff and engaged, committed partners and members of the NEED Board of Directors.  NEED’s partners come in all shapes and sizes.  They may be major, multi-national companies or one person geology offices. They may be involved in natural gas or they may install solar modules on homes and schools.  No matter where they are or what their area of expertise is, NEED’s partners are engaged in our work to support curriculum and teacher training for schools all over the United States.  Our partners believe in what we do and they believe in the importance of teaching kids and teachers about energy.

In the 2013-2014 school year, NEED was fortunate to host workshops on four continents  - in London, United Kingdom; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Calgary, Canada; and Brisbane, Australia.  These opportunities came because of our long partnership with the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  Together, we hosted workshops for students and teachers in each of these communities – providing them with hands-on energy explorations and career exploration opportunities as well. NEED is busy and going strong in the United States and abroad.  With new curriculum launching frequently, the portfolio just keeps getting bigger.  We have also taken the time to gather teacher ideas and revisit some of our most popular curriculum too.  When the school year starts, check out the new Science of Energy –now complete at 4 discreet levels for students.

I have the best job anywhere!  I get to go to work every day enjoying what I do, working with a highly skilled and dedicated team, and learning about energy all the time. It’s nerdy and it’s fun. The opportunities in energy are endless.  I hope today’s NEED kids will grab the energy jobs of the future and turn all their knowledge into great energy careers. Energy is fun. Energy is real. Energy makes things work. Let’s continue to harness the energy of our students, teachers, and partners to continue NEED’s success. 

With many thanks,




Mary E. Spruill
Executive Director