Karen Reagor

State Coordinator
The NEED Project
P.O. Box 176055
Covington, KY 41017

Tel: 859-578-0312


About The Kentucky NEED Project

The Kentucky National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project is the state program of the
National Energy Education Development Project, a not-for-profit education association that focuses on
K-12 energy education. NEED provides workshops for teachers, grade-appropriate curriculum materials
and kits for energy activities in the classroom. NEED also assists schools in forming student energy teams
that study how energy is used in the schools and implements programs to help reduce energy consumption.

Individual state curriculum correlations are available here.


Kentucky NEED Student Energy Portfolios Recognized at State and National Level
Twenty-four student groups from across the Commonwealth submitted Energy Portfolios in NEED’s 2012-13
Youth Awards for Energy Achievement.  On June 5, they were honored in a joint celebration with the Kentucky
Green & Healthy Schools program.  Ten teams hosted tabletop displays of their projects, sharing their successes
with program sponsors and other students.  During the ceremony the Most Outstanding Kentucky Projects were announced.


Waco Elementary, Richmond                        Outstanding Elementary Level Project

Tichenor Middle School, Erlanger                 Outstanding Intermediate Level Project

Muhlenberg South Middle School                 Outstanding ROOKIE Intermediate Project

Kenton County Academy                             Outstanding Senior Level Project

Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council       Outstanding Special Project


All schools submitting portfolios were invited to participate in NEED’s National Youth Awards Celebration held June 21 – 24
in Washington, DC.  Students from six Kentucky schools attended this four-day event, celebrating their successes with over
600 NEED students from across the U.S. Full details can be found here.  If you have any questions, please contact Karen Reagor (


Students from the Kenton County Academies of Innovation and Technology with Duke Energy and Kentucky NEED representatives at the Kentucky NEED Youth Awards Luncheon

2012-13 Kentucky NEED Youth Awards Participants


Elementary Level                                                                                                             Junior Level

Ashland Elementary (Fayette Co.)                                                                          Georgetown M.S. (Scott Co.)

Burlington Elementary (Boone Co.)                                                                        Leestown M.S. (Fayette Co.)

Cane Run Elementary (Jefferson Co.)                                                                   Lincoln County M.S.

Caywood Elementary (Kenton Co.)                                                                         Morton M.S. (Fayette Co.)

Erpenbeck Elementary (Boone Co.)                                                                       Muhlenberg South M.S.

Florence Elementary (Boone Co.)                                                                           Richardsville Elem (Warren Co.)

Rosa Parks Elementary (Fayette Co.)                                                                    SCAPA Bluegrass ( Fayette Co.)

St. Mary Academy (Louisville Diocese)                                                                   Southern M.S. (Fayette Co.)

Waco Elementary (Madison Co.)                                                                             Tichenor M.S. (Erlanger)

Wellington Elementary (Fayette Co.)                                                                       Trimble County M.S.


Senior Level

Bullitt Central High School

Sustainable Energy Technology/Engineering Academy (Kenton Co.)

Lafayette High School (Fayette Co.)

Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council (Fayette Co.)

National Elementary Level Finalist
Waco Elementary School
Waco, KY
Project Title:
Going Green
Project Advisor: Amanda Prewitt

The fifth grade at Waco Elementary and the Green Team partnered with several community organizations this year in order to begin efforts in becoming more energy efficient.  The three main organizations who have committed to helping the students by providing resources, lessons within the classroom, and field trips are NEED, Bluegrass Pride, and 4-H.  Through the collaboration between these community organizations and the students, the fifth graders have begun educating not only students and staff within our building, but also in outreach and partnership within our community and district level staff in Madison County.  Some of the accomplishments this group have made so far have been learning information through NEED about the forms and sources of energy, conducting our first energy audit school wide, hosting a school wide energy expo, establishing a green team, implementing a school wide recycling program, and purchasing devices that use less energy.  Through these efforts made by students, Waco has already begun making changes to the lighting, computers, and the amount of waste used across the building.  These students have laid the ground work for this project to continue to grow year after year with future students at Waco.

National Junior Level Finalist
Muhlenberg South Middle School
Greenville, KY

Project Title: Sunergy
Project Advisor: Sherrie Brown

The Energy Team at Muhlenberg South Middle School had to fulfill two goals for the 2012-2013 school year.  Those goals were to examine energy consumption at our school, and to educate staff, students, students’ families, and the community about energy consumption and conservation. 

Our team used the Monitoring and Mentoring kit to measure, document, and correct energy deficiencies at MSMS.  We used our findings to help educate staff and students on energy by teaching classes and having one-on-one discussions.  The team presented our principal and site based council with the findings and began the first recycling team for our school.  The money collected from recycling was used to purchase energy efficient light bulbs and smart strips for classrooms and computer labs. 

The creation of “Energy Facts” is being read during our morning announcements at school to educate both staff and students.  Our team created “Caught You Being Energy Aware” cards to give out to students and staff that are conserving energy at MSMS.  Finally, the Energy Team taught all 6th and 7th graders at our school the six Science of Energy stations, and helped facilitate a NEED workshop in Madisonville, Kentucky.

Tichenor Middle School
Erlanger, KY
Project Title:
Energy Patrol
Project Advisor: Jennifer Davis

This year at Tichenor Middle School we have been doing many things to learn about energy. One thing we did was we observed and recorded how much energy things in our school and homes used and came up with ways to use less energy. We looked at things like insulation, heating and air units, windows, and appliances. We also looked around and found out that we have eleven vending machines in our district and are working on getting a grant for Vending Misers, which are small machines that make the vending machine shut off every so often so that a lot less energy is used. Also at the end of every energy club meeting we have sent out students throughout our school to look in classrooms and computer labs to make sure all computers and lights are shut down. By doing this we are cutting down costs in our school. We have been working on Science of Energy stations, which focus on different types of energy and how they are made. We are going to our four elementary schools on Wednesday April 24 to teach the fourth graders at the schools about our stations and about what we have learned in energy club. As you can see our energy club has been doing many things to learn about and save energy.

National Senior Level Finalist

Adair County High School
Columbia, KY
Project Title:
Going Green & Staying Clean
Project Advisor: Heather Spoon

The Energy Technology Career Academy boasts multiple students, each with a unique thought process and skill set that lends itself to each project in a unique way. This gives the Energy Technology Career Academy different ways to complete the same objective.

In the past year, the Energy Technology Career Academy has undertaken several projects. These projects include making biodiesel, then using the biodiesel byproduct to create other useful products for everyday life, such as glycerin soap and BioFire starters. The second project was hanging recycled denim insulation at a housing authority apartment, where we installed recycled denim insulation using funds from a grant from Levi Strauss. The third and fourth projects consisted of teaching a younger generation the various forms of energy and about how it changes the earth, while doing fun activities to help them remember the lessons. The ETCA also practiced soldering tabbing wire onto raw PV cells so we could gain a new skill and be able to work on a solar panel.

Kenton County Academies of Innovation and Technology
Edgewood, KY
Project Title:
Increasing awareness for reducing energy consumption and costs in our community and school district
Project Advisor: Laura Engelman

The goal of our project is to reduce energy consumption and costs in our community and school district. To achieve this, we conducted year-long energy research projects, outreach with students and the community, and assistance in professional planning. Our first goal was to educate students within the district. We achieved this through our outreach programs. Our second goal was to research and propose energy saving projects. Our projects focused on inefficient buildings in the district. Our third goal was to increase community awareness about energy reducing habits. We conducted projects and presented to community members. We also presented our knowledge to energy and environmental science professionals, as well as school district representatives. Finally, we assisted the Senior Environmental Engineer for the Center of Applied Ecology at Northern Kentucky University, Dr. Scott Fennell.

National Special Project Rookie of the Year

Fayette County Public Schools Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council
Lexington, KY
Project Title:
One Planet. One Experiment.
Project Advisor: Tresine Logsdon

The Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council was formed in November of 2010 and is a project-based organization composed of a cross-section of environmentally passionate students from Fayette County's five public high schools, Sayre School, Lexington Catholic High School, Lexington Christian Academy and Montessori High School of KY. Mentored by Tresine Logsdon and local organizations with a passion for sustainability, the BYSC meets monthly to discuss collaborative outreach projects, short-term and long-term goals, partnership prospects and leadership and post-secondary opportunities in all areas of sustainability including energy management, outdoor classrooms, waste management, water quality and air quality.  Our culminating and largest collaborative event is the spring Earth Day Celebration.

The BYSC serves as an extraordinary leadership and collaborative opportunity for our area youth leaders who deeply care about environmental quality and are motivated to work together with local experts and volunteers on projects to improve sustainability.  Simply put, the BYSC is a team of likeminded individuals poised to raise awareness and promote improved sustainability throughout our community and our world. 

This portfolio includes the diverse, innovative and ambitious projects that our Council has implemented during the 2012-2013 school year.  With energy as our primary area of sustainability to address, we recognize that each project directly or indirectly promotes the conservation or reduction of energy.


Kentucky Energy Tour – June 10 – 14, 2013

Kentucky NEED Coordinators and State Director at Armstrong Coal Surface Mine

Twenty-five educators from around the Commonwealth spent five days, traveling by charter coach through Western Kentucky visiting renewable and non-renewable energy sites.

There was NO cost to attend the conference, as the tour was sponsored by the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence (DEDI).  Sponsorship included double occupancy lodging, meals, mileage and curriculum materials that support implementation of innovative energy units for classrooms, multi-disciplinary student energy teams, and after-school programs.

Tour stops included…

  • TVA’s Paradise coal-fired power plant
  • Commonwealth Agri-Energy ethanol plant
  • TVA’s Kentucky Dam hydropower plant
  • Southern Coal Handling
  • Armstrong Coal surface mines
  • KY Abandoned Mine Lands reclamation site
  • Madisonville Community College/energy and technology programs
  • Warrior Coal underground mine

Participant comments….

"Being from Louisville, this tour helped negate some of the stereotypes associated with the energy industry." - 5th Grade Teacher

"This has been the BEST professional development opportunity I have ever participated in.  The materials are awesome and will be very useful in my classroom." - Gifted Educator

"This experience opened my eyes to the many different ways that we use our energy sources.  I look forward to becoming a more responsible energy consumer and helping my students to do the same." - 9-12 Pre-engineering Teacher

"This experience confirmed that some things just cannot be learned from reading a book, watching a video or participating in a discussion.  Learning about Kentucky’s energy industry needs to be experienced firsthand." - 9-12 Educator


Kentucky Teachers Participate in National Energy Education Training

Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town

Albuquerque, New Mexico

July 14-18, 2013

Seventeen Kentucky teachers and our four LG&E/KU regional coordinators packed their bags and traveled to Albuquerque, NM to attend the 2013 National Energy Conference for Educators. This conference brought together educators from around the country, who were passionate about energy education in their classrooms. Five days of professional development in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the conference provided teachers with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy, including the science of energy, sources of energy, transportation, consumption, electricity, efficiency and environmental and economic impacts.  Participants received the training and materials to implement innovative hands-on energy units for their classrooms, multi-disciplinary teams at their schools, and after-school programs.  NEED leaders at the conference helped participants develop specialized units to meet state standards.  Activities can also be utilized with students of all learning styles.  Scholarships for these K-8 teachers were provided through our partnership with LG&E/KU.


LG&E and KU Children’s Energy Education Program

East Central Region - Tyler Cvitkovic (, Regional Coordinator

Royal Spring Middle School Students Facilitate Energy Carnival

Balloons were bursting, rings were tossing and students were learning about energy at the Royal Spring Middle School Energy Carnival, held on Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 in Scott County.  Thanks to LG&E/KU’s sponsorship and their energy education partner, the Kentucky NEED Project, the Royal Springs Energy and Environment Club was provided with everything they needed to facilitate this interactive, educational event.  The Energy Carnival featured ten games in which students combined their academic skills and energy knowledge with their ability to toss and throw—learning while playing. 

The Royal Spring Energy and Environment Club, or the “Green Team” as they are called by their peers, facilitated the entire event.   The team of 18 students, which met twice monthly after school, had been working on the Energy Carnival for almost three months.  Their hard work was rewarded with approximately one hundred students, siblings, parents and other teachers attending.  The students had minimal help, but the entire science department and their principal, stood right by their sides for support.            

The Energy Carnival was just one of several energy education events the students at Royal Spring Middle School conducted this school year. The student team also founded the “Power Police” which involved going on patrol throughout the school looking for any energy wasting habits.  Very seldom was an “energy offender” found, however, as the Energy and Environment Club had placed stickers and door hangers to remind teachers and students to turn off lights, computers, and other electrical devices before exiting a room or when the devices were not in use.

At the beginning of the year the team did an energy assessment of the school, using light meters provided by The NEED Project to measure lighting throughout the school and pinpoint any locations where they could cut back.  As a result, they inspired, educated and worked with the custodial staff to encourage removing bulbs from some of the ceiling fixtures but still allowing for sufficient lighting based on engineering codes.  Hallway lights were turned off at times when the numerous windows provide enough natural light to travel safely. 

Royal Spring Middle School is a trendsetter in a district that is a leader in our state.  This comes with great help from numerous community partners like LG&E/KU, state partners like the Kentucky NEED Project, and a dedicated, knowledgeable Energy Manager, Jim McClanahan.  When it comes to energy education, it is exciting to see what a difference a small group of dedicated and educated students can make!

Western Region - Sue Parrent (, Regional Coordinator

NEED Students from Muhlenberg South Middle School

On Friday, June 21, students from Muhlenberg South Middle School in Greenville, KY traveled to DC for the NEED National Youth Awards celebration.   The energy portfolio they submitted was selected as the KY Intermediate Rookie of the Year project and a national finalist. Their team sponsor, Sherrie Brown, along with chaperones, accompanied the team of 19 students. Mrs. Brown had collaborated with teachers to explore sites in DC that will be studied during the 2013-14 school year, to make this adventure a real learning experience. The team will use the information they learned to help teachers incorporate into classroom content through pictures and personal experiences. They also were able to schedule a congressional visit with their congressman while in DC. They returned home on Monday evening and by Wednesday they were already meeting to discuss goals for next year's Youth Awards project.

Several of the chaperones spoke to me throughout the weekend with high regards to the NEED program. One parent expressed her appreciation to our KU sponsorship for the opportunity for the trip but also for the education her child is receiving from the partnership between LG&E/KU and NEED. She spoke of how her child has learned and applied concepts that are taking him to places she never dreamed. He is already looking at life careers because of his work with the energy team. 

Funding support to attend this national event was provided by LG&E/KU, Muhlenberg County School District, and private contributors.

West Central Region: Dr. Sheila Yule (, Regional Coordinator

Karen McPherson, K-5 Science Lab Teacher and Student Energy Team Sponsor at Southside Elementary in Shelby County called the 2013 Energy Tour a remarkable experience.  “I truly appreciate the opportunity to participate in this tour.  I have learned so much and it has really given me a different perspective on where our energy comes from and what it takes to get it to us.  I’m afraid we’re a bit spoiled and take energy for granted.  I have a new and greater appreciation for energy as a whole and especially the coal industry.”

Southeast Region — Whit Pennington (, Regional Coordinator

The fifth grade students at Waco Elementary in Richmond, KY, partnered with the school’s Green Team and several community organizations during the 2012-13 school year in their quest to make their school more energy efficient.  Through this collaboration, these students not only educated themselves, but also the school and district level staff.  Through the resources provided by NEED, the students learned the basics about energy, completed an assessment of energy usage in their school, planned and facilitated a school-wide Energy Expo, participated in the Kentucky NEED VendingMiser project and implemented a school-wide recycling program.  After analyzing the results of the school energy usage assessment, students are making plans for expanding their efforts during the 2013-14 school year with a goal of further reducing energy consumption at their school and improving energy behaviors Having participated in the NEED National Youth Awards celebration in June, they are looking forward to submitting their second NEED Youth Awards Portfolio in April 2014, documenting the results of their efforts.

Duke Energy Providing Students with Energy Efficiency Kits Image

Schools in Northern Kentucky continue to gain energy education through NEED’s partnership with Duke Energy. If your school receives electric utility services from Duke, stayed tuned for updates on the 2013-14 program. 

For more information, contact Karen Reagor at


AEP/Kentucky Power Sponsors NEED Professional Development for Teachers Image

Working in tandem with Kentucky Power’s CFL promotion, this fall, Kentucky NEED will be facilitating three professional development opportunities for 7th grade teachers whose schools receive electric utility services from Kentucky Power/AEP.  Join us for food and fun activities that encourage energy efficiency at home and at school.  Participants will receive NEED’s 2013-14 curriculum packets. Check the NEED Calendar for workshop dates and locations.   For additional information, contact Karen Reagor,

2014 High Performance Sustainable Schools Workshop

First steps are being taken for the 2014 High Performance Sustainable Schools Workshop.  Has your district completed a renovation or new construction school project that highlights high performance, sustainable features? Was the project completed in the past two years?  Were students engaged in the planning and design process?  Is the building being used as a learning laboratory?  If you answered yes to these questions, your school could be the star of the 2014 workshop.  Please contact us to learn how to nominate your school.                  


Kentucky NEED Sponsors
Thank you to the following sponsors who make Kentucky NEED programs possible.

Kentucky NEED Partners

If you would like more information on becoming a KY NEED sponsor or partner, please contact Karen Reagor at