Press Release
Contact: Mary Spruill Email: Telephone: 703-257-1117

Karen McPherson (Shelbyville, KY) recognized for Excellence in Energy
For Immediate Release June 23, 2014

Manassas, Virginia – The NEED Project is pleased to announce the 2014 recipient of the Bob Thompson Excellence in Energy Award. NEED congratulates Karen McPherson of Southside Elementary School in Shelbyville, Kentucky! The Bob Thompson Excellence in Energy Award was created by NEED in honor and memory of long-time NEED teacher and staff member Bob Thompson.

Bob was a dedicated teacher, friend, and proponent of science and energy education. His time at NEED enriched many, encouraged all, and improved the way we present and teach about energy in our curriculum and training workshops. Bob was a good friend to many here at NEED and he and his spirit live on in our work. Because of this, NEED established the Bob Thompson Excellence in Energy Award that is given each year to a teacher who exemplifies Bob’s childlike wonder of science and energy.

The award includes a $1,000 cash grant to the teacher to use as he/she chooses in the classroom and an all-expenses paid trip to the NEED Energy Conference for Educators hosted each July. The award will be given at the Annual NEED Youth Awards for Energy Achievement in Washington, D.C. each June.

Karen’s nomination letter detailed her this way, Ms. McPherson is our schools Science Lab teacher and her influence regarding energy education is at an all-time high! As a lifelong learner, she seeks out grants and resources to continue her growth as a scientist. New knowledge or methods learned are immediately implemented to benefit students. Our staff recognized her as a leader in Science content and in empowering students to make a difference, both of which are passions of hers.

Karen’s energy as an educator, as a NEED teacher, and as a parent is contagious! She is engaging, fun, always learning, and a pleasure to work with in any setting. Bob Thompson would have liked her a great deal.

Congratulations to this great energy educator and wonderful friend of NEED.

For more information about the NEED Project and the Bob Thompson Excellence in Energy Award, please call Mary E. Spruill at (703) 257-1117, fax at (703) 257-0037 or via email to or visit: