As the school year ends, we here at NEED are busy celebrating all that schools, teachers, and students have accomplished inside the classroom and out. We’re so proud to be a part of so many of your energy education efforts, and celebrating with you is one of the best parts!

On Thursday, May 26th, NEED joined with the United Way to celebrate students in the PECO Energizing Education Program’s United Way Afterschool Agencies. This PEEP group included six agencies from across the city of Philadelphia. These students learn about energy in their afterschool programs (sometimes even on Saturdays!), and teach others with a community outreach project. All six agencies were represented at the celebration dinner, held at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Philadelphia.

Students came together to showcase their efforts throughout the year and be recognized for their hard work. Student representatives told about their energy fair, showed their PSA videos of energy saving tips, made solar-powered cars, generated electricity by building their own hydropower generators, created energy-saving apps, and even held their own version of the popular TV show Shark Tank! Students who attended also enjoyed some fun science as they enjoyed rock candy pops, and played with ducky-circuits.

A week later, on Thursday, June 3, NEED joined PECO and our friends at the Franklin Institute to celebrate a great year in the PECO Energizing Education Program’s in-school program. The in-school program, in its eighth year, kicked off in January and was made up of 20 Philadelphia region schools. The schools were charged with learning about energy and teaching others through a STEM challenge project.

This year’s program saw some amazing projects and innovation from the elementary, middle school, and high school students involved, and their reach was broad – teaching their communities through future cities design challenges, building a giant whale to teach about how energy and the environment are connected, holding a large scale wind turbine blade challenge with several grades and schools represented, designing sustainable housing for expanding cities, and creating mudwatts! These schools and students really made learning about energy fun for all!  At the June celebration, students came together to tour the exhibits at the Franklin Institute, eat pizza (of course), and present their projects to their peers. Students really enjoyed being on stage in the Franklin Theater, and sharing their videos, songs, and projects with other students in the program.

NEED always enjoys seeing the amazing projects the schools complete and getting the chance to celebrate with our PEEPs! We’re so proud to work with PECO, TFI, The United Way, and all of the amazing students, teachers, and leaders in the Philly region. We can’t wait to see what next year holds!