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-three portfolios were submitted in this year’s Youth Awards Program.  Seven portfolios were first time entries.  On April 24, a statewide awards luncheon was held in Frankfort in partnership with the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools program.  Students spent the morning sharing their accomplishments and meeting with program supporters.  In June, forty-three students from seven Kentucky teams traveled to Washington, DC for the National Youth Awards Celebration.  At the celebration, two Kentucky portfolios were awarded national honors as the most outstanding rookie projects.


New Castle Elementary School                      National Elementary Rookie of the Year

Chance School                                                  Kentucky Elementary School of the Year

Tichenor Middle School                                   Kentucky Junior School of the Year

West End School                                             Kentucky Junior Rookie of the Year

Pikeville High School                                      National Senior Rookie of the Year


All schools submitting portfolios were invited to participate in NEED’s National Youth Awards Celebration held June 20 – 23 in Washington, DC.  Students from five 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 (

Kentucky NEED Students at state awards luncheon

National Elementary Rookie of the Year
New Castle Elementary School
New Castle, KY
Kentucky Elementary Rookie of the Year

Project Title: Changing the World One CFL at a Time
Project Advisor: Becca Gilbert

We are a first-year energy team from New Castle Elementary. Our team’s overall goal is to educate and inform the community on energy efficiency. The energy team members learned about the different ways to save energy in classrooms at school as well as in their homes. One committee put together a video that was sent to all the classes about tips on saving energy. Energy team members audit every classroom twice a week to keep track of energy savings occurring throughout our school.  As a rookie energy team, students were fascinated about the efficiency of CFL light bulbs when compared to incandescent bulbs. We went into great detail learning about the facts of light and how much more efficient CFLs are. This led us to the idea of our primary goal: to fundraise CFL light bulbs to distribute to students at our culminating event, the energy carnival. Energy team members received donations from businesses, family members, neighbors, and friends to help us reach our goal of 1000 CFL light bulbs. At the energy carnival, attendees from New Castle Elementary got to leave with CFL bulbs to replace in their own homes. The energy team is excited to include other forms of energy into their repertoire of knowledge in the years to come!

Chance School
Louisville, KY
Kentucky Elementary School of the Year

Project Title: The Power of Energy Literacy and Conservation
Project Advisor: Sarah Cummins

The Chance School Energy Team had 3 goals: to educate their school about energy; to reduce energy consumption; and to share energy education and conservation tips in the community. 
The Monitoring and Mentoring kit was used to measure energy use and the EnergyWorks kit to learn all aspects of energy. Numerous projects were implemented to reduce energy consumption: energy education and conservation presentations were given; signs were made and posted reminding people to turn off lights/electronics; school-wide composting was started; notices were left for classrooms reminding them to conserve energy; an energy fair was held at the public library; holiday and spring break shut-downs were conducted; the school became “idle-free” with help from KAIRE (Kentuckiana Air Education); a garden was planted to grow food for students; and research was conducted on using compost as a heat source for food-producing plants.
Our school has made great strides in learning about and conserving energy.  In March we had an astounding 20% energy savings on electricity compared to last year.  The Energy Team has significantly affected the school and behavior has changed to conserve energy.


Tichenor Middle School
Erlanger, KY
Kentucky Junior School of the Year

Project Title: Real-World Energy Efficiency
Project Advisor: Jennifer Davis

Tichenor Energy Club is a student organization of about twenty active members who are guided by Mrs. Jennifer Davis. Our collective group does many community based activities. We have spent time teaching community members on energy conservation. In October of 2013 we held a Family Energy Night in our own library. We had 100 or so guests who came around and learned about energy conservation. We did the same thing again in March of 2014 at a local library in Burlington, Kentucky. In late April last year we visited our own four district elementary schools and taught our local 4th graders about energy transformation. We will be returning to do the same on April 30th of this year.  We also worked with our schools’ energy manager to learn about how infiltration has caused energy loss in our school building, which he will present to our local school board.

West End School
Louisville, KY
Kentucky Junior Rookie of the Year

Project Title: West Energizers Energy Saving Tips
Project Advisor: Matthew Howell

West End School is a boarding school in Louisville where twenty boys, ages 11-14, live Sunday night through Friday afternoon.
Our first step in the NEED energy project was to come up with a team name:  The West Energizers.  We discovered when and where we waste the most energy in our class and dormitory rooms.  We presented examples of saving energy to our teachers, other students at our school, and our Board of Directors.  We are cutting down on electricity usage and saving money for our school by turning off lights, A/C and heat, and fans.  We close windows so heat does not escape the room during winter.  We unplugged devices we aren't using because of "phantom load".  We use the sunlight instead of the ceiling lights.
We also helped our community.  We passed out flyers to our neighborhood with tips on how to save energy.  To encourage people to save energy, we attached raffle tickets to the flyers.  We asked people to enter the ticket number on our Facebook page and tell how they saved energy in their home.  The ticket was for our concession stand.  We also made a YouTube video showing ways to save energy.

National Senior Rookie of the Year
Pikeville High School
Pikeville, KY
Kentucky Senior School of the Year

Project Title: Plant it for the Planet
Project Advisor: Traci Tackett

Our Gifted Education class at Pikeville High school is composed of six students who are passionate about energy conservation and spreading community awareness. The NEED competition fueled our desire to educate and influence members of our community about energy. Collaboration with Sustainable Pike County (SPC), STLP, PHS A.P. Environmental Science, PHS PRIDE Club, Pikeville Independent Board of Education, and community experts will assist us in our education endeavors.
By building leadership, we are laying a foundation for success in future sustainability. Our class has taught monthly energy lessons to first graders and sponsored raised bed gardens at Pikeville Elementary.  The STLP club and Gifted Education students become ambassador leaders in their classrooms. Through collaboration with the PHS PRIDE Club and APES class we are applying initiatives of a PRIDE grant. Within the grant, we will reduce energy cost in our district, implement seasonal gardens, and facilitate backyard gardening projects throughout the community.
 Our project kept sprouting, much like our winter garden, leading to many alliances throughout the community.  We never expected student involvement and excitement to bloom as it has. This enthusiasm has lead to various future plans for partners of all age groups. The NEED energy project is awesome!

NEED National Training Conference
As Kentucky prepares to implement new science standards, twenty-one Kentucky teachers attended the National Training Conference and worked with Kentucky NEED team members to plan how to best incorporate NEED resources into their curriculum.


LG&E and KU Partnership

Four Kentucky NEED Regional Coordinators worked with K-8 schools in 70 school districts across the Commonwealth during the 2013-14 school year as part of Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E/KU) Children’s Energy Education Program. Charged with establishing embedded energy education programs in K-8 schools receiving their electricity from either LG&E or KU utilities, the coordinators worked full-time to achieve this goal. They provided teachers with professional development opportunities, made classroom presentations and assisted schools in establishing and/or maintaining their student energy teams. Eight one-day NEED workshops were held for the teachers, introducing them to NEED’s energy education resources and providing them with hands-on kits for their students. Due to their efforts, we now have reached 191 schools, have 72 educators with embedded NEED programs in their classroom and 47 sustained student energy teams across the state.

Duke Partnership

Schools in Northern Kentucky were offered two community-wide energy education opportunities through our Duke Energy sponsorship. Student groups were invited to apply for mini-grants to plan and facilitate energy education projects for their families and community members. Several Energy Fairs were held across Northern KY. Students were invited to participate in the distribution of residential energy efficiency kits to households are Duke electric customers. In addition, Duke also sponsored one NEED Energy Workshops for Educators for the region.

Student Energy Team from Hinsdale Elementary School – Kenton County


Kentucky Power/AEP CFL Project 

Working with KP/AEP partners, Kentucky NEED planned and facilitated three professional development opportunities for seventh grade teachers in the service territory in support of the utilities’ CFL project. NEED curriculum and resources that support energy efficiency lessons were provided.

High Performance Sustainable School Buildings Workshop

The 2013 Kentucky NEED High Performance Sustainable School Buildings Workshop, held in partnership with the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence (DEDI) continues to impact energy efficient school design in Kentucky. During workshop sessions, school administrators, architects and engineers heard from design experts and administrators about a holistic, systems approach to school design and renovation. A program highlight was a presentation by Kenton County high school students on their research of energy efficient design opportunities in their district.             


Kentucky Energy in Education Collaboration

During the ARRA funded years, Kentucky developed a successful collaboration of several organizations working to address energy issues in K-12 schools. When the funding ended, three of these organizations chose to continue the collaboration. Kentucky NEED, Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools Program and the School Energy Manager Project are carrying on their partnership to work in support of teachers and students who want to learn about and address energy and environmental issues in their schools.             


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