Collage of student images from the 43rd annual youth energy conference and awards

Youth Energy Conference and Awards

Since our inception in 1980, NEED encourages and rewards student leadership and innovation by sponsoring an annual Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement. Schools participating in NEED’s programs are invited to submit digital portfolios of their energy activities – submission is free! Exceptional teachers and students are recognized for their efforts at both the state and national level.

In June, we had a fantastic team of NEED student interns and youth staff to help host nearly 300 students and teachers for our 43rd Annual Youth Energy Conference and Awards in Washington, D.C.  

We began the conference with the opportunity for students to hear from a wonderful panel of energy industry professionals. The Q&A was a great way for them to gain insight into the various energy industries, tips on the career workforce, and fun facts.  

Students worked in grade-level teams on STEM Challenges that included creating energy houses and learning about insulation and conduction (elementary level), learn about wind generation and wind turbines to design the best blades to generate the most electricity (intermediate level), and learning about microgrids to design a neighborhood (senior level). 

It wasn’t all just hands-on energy fun as school groups also got to tour Washington, DC, cruise the Potomac River on a sunset dinner cruise, enjoy fun activities and networking with other schools from across the nation, and most importantly were recognized during the Awards Ceremony for their winning school projects. 

View all the fun with photos captured throughout the event here and watch the slideshow the Youth Staff Interns put together! A special thank you to Phillips 66 and American Electric Power Foundation for helping sponsor this annual event.

Scrapbook style image of students at a science fair

Interested in having your students submit a project for NEED’s National Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement?

Projects are due April 15th every year. We hope you consider submitting a project for 2024! This program is a staple of The NEED Project that exemplifies our Kids Teaching Kids philosophy, and we invite you to garner inspiration from past winning projects here!