Download the catalog to view curriculum and kit pricing and to place an order.

NEED is adding new energy workshops all the time. Want to attend? Check out our calendar to find a workshop near you!


ESP Illinois/Indiana

What is the Energizing Student Potential Program?

The Exelon Foundation, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, and BP America, in partnership with the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, are launching Energizing Student Potential, a STEM-focused energy program for grades 5 - 8 in their respective customer regions in Illinois and Indiana. This program brings together Illinois and Indiana standards-based curriculum for use in the classroom or in afterschool programs in public and private schools and the resources of the region’s largest energy companies. The program will help schools meet Next Generation Science Standards goals and more.

Energizing Student Potential is designed to help educators bring energy into the classroom and to provide all the tools and resources necessary for students and teachers to learn together, explore energy together, and teach their local communities about energy. The program begins with an energizing two-day workshop in October and culminates with a Celebration of Energy at which participating schools share the community education programs and the STEM projects they have completed throughout the year.
This three year program will accept 40 schools per year and provide the schools with classroom resources, grant funds, and more!

What Does The School Receive?

  • A $500 grant to support your STEM Challenge project
  • $3,000 of hands-on kits and curriculum
  • An Energizing Student Potential Energy Fair Kit to host an Energy Fair and Carnival at your school
  • Access to Educational Energy Audits, Field Trips and Classroom Visits
  • Two-Day Professional Development for a team of 2 teachers per school
  • Celebration of Energy hosted as a culminating event at the end of the school year
  • Connections to STEM professionals to help students see all the possibilities of STEM and Energy Careers

What Do Returning Schools Receive?

  • A cash grant for up to $1,000
  • Replenishment for all kits and supplies
  • Access to Educational Energy Audits, Field Trips and Classroom Visits
  • Two days of Professional Development


Want to participate in the Energizing Student Potential program in 2017-2018? Apply today! The application deadline for new or returning schools in July 30, 2017. 

To check for eligibility, view the eligible counties list here

2016- 2017 Program Resources

Teacher Program Guide for 2016-2017
2016 -2017 Program Timeline
Wizehive Site Log In
Energy Field Trip Options
Teacher Evaluation due to NEED by May 2nd
Student Evaluation due to NEED by May 2nd
Energy Fair in a Box Information
Press Release to Announce School Acceptance into ESP
ESP Refresh PowerPoint
Morton Arboretum Resources and Information
Project Submission (requires log in)
ESP Contact Information (requires log in)

Illinois Solar Schools
Morton Arboretum Teacher Resources
What is an Energy Audit? (PPT)

2016-2017 Participating Schools

Algonquin Middle School Independence Elementary School Pope John Paul II
Amelia Earhart Options For Knowledge School Indian Trail Middle School Prairie Knolls Middle School
Ashburn Community Elementary School Irene Hernandez Middle School Richard Ira Jones Middle School
Aux Sable Middle School J Locke School Robert Nathaniel Dett Elementary
Beasley Academic Center Jahn Elementary Rosa L Parks Middle School
Bednarcik Junior High School Jane Addams Middle School Rowe Elementary School
Benjamin Elementary John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School Sacred Heart School
Bernard J. Ward Elementary John R. Tibbott Elementary School Saint Cletus School
Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies John T. McCutcheon Elementary School Sandoval Elementary School
Byrd School Johnnie Coleman Academy Sandridge Elementary
Central Road Elementary School Jungman Elementary School Sherman School of Excellence
Central School Keller Regional Gifted Center Shirland School District #134
Colin Powell MIddle School Kennedy Middle School Shoesmith Elementary
Coonley Elementary Kenneth L. Hermansen Elementary School St John Berchmans
Countee Cullen Elementary King Middle School St. Ann School
Daniel Wright Junior HIgh School Ladd CCSD #94 St. Isaac Jogues
Elizabeth H. Sutherland IB Elementary Lakeview Jr. High School St. Mary's School
Elwood School Liberty Intermediate School St. Paul Lutheran School
Evergreen Academy Middle School Marquette Academy Grade School Sunnydale Elementary School
Franklin Fine Arts Center Mason Middle School Westmont Junior High
Galileo Scholastic Academy Michelle Obama School of Technology and the Arts Winfield Central School
Glenwood Academy Momence Junior High School Winnebago Middle and High Schools
Hefferan STEAM Elementary School Mozart Elementary School Woodlawn Middle School
Helen C. Pierce School of International Studies Nathan Hale Elementary Woodson Elementary School
Heritage Middle School (Summit, IL) North Prairie Junior High  
Heritage Middle School (Lansing, IL) Oakdale Elementary School  
Holy Trinity Catholic School Pecatonica Middle School  
Immanuel Christian Academy Pickard School  

Teachers and students engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities in the classroom while learning fundamental principles of energy use and conservation. Students learn best when engaged in inquiry learning — and the activities and explorations included in the program allow them to think, explore, share, and develop a profound respect for energy and the world around them.

We know that teaching others helps us learn as well and the Kids Teaching Kids philosophy woven throughout The NEED Project curriculum helps keep students of all learning styles engaged and excited to learn. The lessons and projects in this program are designed to allow students to teach their peers as well as their local community.

We hope you will join us for this exciting opportunity.



Curriculum Resources

NEED Curriculum Guides - Science of Energy, Solar, Wind, Oil and Natural Gas, Nuclear, Energy Management AND MORE!
Illinois Electric Connections
Natural Gas Activities
Energy Information Administration, Illinois Data
Additional Resources and Links from Partners & Sponsors
Evaluation and Assessment
NGSS Correlation and Support
Science of Electricity

Digital Presentations for the Classroom

Science of Energy
Oil and Gas
Efficiency and Conservation


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