About NEED


Started in 1980, The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project began as a one-day celebration of energy education when National Energy Education Day was recognized by a Joint Congressional Resolution. In the same year, President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation stressing the need for comprehensive energy education in our schools, a reduction in our dependence of fossil fuels, and increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy technologies. Since its founding 40 years ago, NEED has kept its Kids Teaching Kids philosophy as a fundamental principle of NEED programming – encouraging students to explore, experiment, engage, and encouraging teachers to embrace student leadership in the classroom. NEED trains and assists teachers in harnessing the energy of the classroom – the energy of students.

NEED is expanding and evolving to best meet the needs of both teachers and students – in the classroom and beyond.  In just the last decade The NEED Project has grown to encompass a curriculum portfolio of 100+ teacher and student guides designed to engage and teach teachers and students about energy. At the same time, the training opportunities offered by NEED expanded to include a variety of teacher professional development and training for educators and school district energy personnel as well. NEED’s work in after school programs, student clubs, scouting groups, and home school networks also continues to grow.

This is NEED PowerPoint.

NEED students and teachers understand energy

They are local experts and leaders

In community discussions on energy use, energy efficiency and new energy technologies, they reach out to the public to actively teach about energy and energy decisions, and they practice smart energy decision making with their own families.

Learn about Professional Development

NEED’s reach, program, and portfolio are very different than they were in the early years

The focus is still the importance of student leadership development

That sets NEED apart from being just another curriculum organization. A balanced approach to the discussion of energy is fundamental to how NEED curriculum is written, delivered, and shared. NEED creates curriculum and support for virtually any classroom and at any grade level.

Explore our Curriculum

Students use hands-on, inquiry based lessons

Exploring the physics and chemistry of energy

Students engineer turbines and generators, testing their models for maximum electricity output. Students write and perform plays about energy in drama class, calculate payback periods of energy efficient appliances in math class, and discuss the history and human impact of energy use in social studies.

Learn about Student Programs

Getting Students Involved in Energy

Students learn how to design buildings better to maximize energy efficiency and to keep our buildings healthy. In career and technology classrooms students are installing solar panels, monitoring wind turbine output, learning about oil and gas exploration in shale, and exploring transportation technologies. NEED students are the future of the energy workforce. Students interested in engineering, science, economics, environmental sciences, law, geology and a host of other disciplines have a role in the energy industry.

We work hard to help teachers meet the requirements of state standards, Common Core, and the Next Generation Science Standards. As states adopt their new standards, NEED will continue working to provide state alignments to our entire curriculum portfolio.  We know this helps teachers teach more energy in their classrooms and we’ll continue to work hard to give teachers all they need.

STEM students getting Energy Education



Students at all grade levels learn about all aspects of energy—science of energy, energy sources, electricity, transportation, efficiency & conservation

Our Curriculum



Teachers discussing energy education at a conference table
Teacher Advisory Board
NEED Project Staff
Board of Directors & Staff
Executive Director speaking at energy industry conference
From our Executive Director



NEED encourages and rewards student leadership and innovation by sponsoring a Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement. 

Youth Awards



EnergyCareers 2020

October 21 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

2020 Virtual Shell Energy Education Workshop

October 24 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Nuclear Science Week Oct. 19-23Nuclear Fact of the Day --"NUCLEAR HELPS POWER 29 U.S. STATESThere are currently 95 commercial reactors helping to power homes and businesses in 29 U.S. states. Illinois has 11 reactors -the most of any state- and joins South Carolina and New Hampshire in receiving more than 50% of its power from nuclear. "(source U.S. Department of Energy)#EnergyAwarenessMonth #NuclearSciWeek ... See MoreSee Less

October 21st, 10:45 am

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Nuclear Science Week!Check out our "Candy Chemistry" video! Caryn from NEED demonstrates how to do two fun candy-based activities modeling nuclear half-life!#NuclearSciWeek #EnergyAwarenessMonth ... See MoreSee Less

October 20th, 8:00 pm

Comment on Facebook Caryn from NEED ...

Big thanks to the Louisiana teachers participating and the Louisiana State Energy Office for sponsoring today’s virtual energy workshop! Learning about the science of energy, incorporating energy in language arts, hands-on solar and wind activities, energy efficiency and more! ☀️ 💨 🔋 💡 ... See MoreSee Less

October 20th, 2:25 pm

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