Download the catalog to view curriculum and kit pricing and to place an order.

NEED is adding new energy workshops all the time. Want to attend? Check out our calendar to find a workshop near you!


ESP Illinois/Indiana

What is the Energizing Student Potential Program?

The Exelon Foundation, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, and BP America, in partnership with the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, provide Energizing Student Potential, a STEM-focused energy program for grades 5 - 8 in their respective customer regions in Illinois and Indiana. This program brings together Illinois and Indiana standards-based curriculum for use in the classroom or in afterschool programs in public and private schools and the resources of the region’s largest energy companies. The program will help schools meet Next Generation Science Standards goals and more.

Energizing Student Potential is designed to help educators bring energy into the classroom and to provide all the tools and resources necessary for students and teachers to learn together, explore energy together, and teach their local communities about energy. The program begins with an energizing two-day workshop in the fall and culminates with a Celebration of Energy at which participating schools share the community education programs and the STEM projects they have completed throughout the year.

What Does The School Receive?

  • A grant to support your STEM Challenge project
  • $2,000 of hands-on kits and curriculum
  • An Energizing Student Potential Energy Fair Kit to host an Energy Fair and Carnival at your school
  • Access to Educational Energy Audits
  • Three-Day Professional Development for a team of at least 2 teachers per school
  • Celebration of Energy hosted as a culminating event at the end of the school year
  • Connections to STEM professionals to help students see all the possibilities of STEM and Energy Careers

What Do Returning Schools Receive?

  • A cash grant for STEM and energy programing
  • Replenishment for all kits and supplies
  • Access to Educational Energy Audits
  • Two days of Professional Development
  • Special opportunities for teachers and students in year 3 and 4


Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are now closed.  Considering applying for the 2019-2020 school year!
See if your school is eligible below.

To check for eligibility, view the eligible counties list here

2018- 2019 Program Resources

Teacher Program Guide for 2018-2019
2018-2019 Program Timeline
Energizing Student Potential Field Trip Offerings
Program Management Software Site Log In
Teacher Evaluation *When printing, please make sure to print on a full sheet of white paper, choose "actual size" in your print options.
Please note: The Teacher Eval is 2 pages

Student Evaluation *When printing, please make sure to print on a full sheet of white paper, choose "actual size" in your print options.
Energy Fair in a Box Information
ESP Energy Fair Press Release
Press Release to Announce School Acceptance into ESP 
Morton Arboretum Resources and Information
Project Submission (requires log in)
ESP Contact Information (requires log in)

Illinois Solar Schools
Morton Arboretum Teacher Resources
What is an Energy Audit? (PPT)
Energy Fair Planning Tips (PPT)
Electric Connections
Energy Expo
Interactive Energy Simulations
Excellent Energy Engineering
Energy Fair Poster Template
Energizing Student Potential Bingo
Multimedia Release
Final Project Guidelines
ESP IL/IN SmugMug Photo Gallery

2018-2019 Participating Schools

Amelia Earhart Option for Knowledge Elementary
Barack Obama School of Leadership & STEM
Beasley Academic Center
Bednarcik Junior High School
Beecher Junior High
Belmont-Cragin Elementary
Bourbonnais Upper Grade Center
Bureau Valley School
Central Middle School
Chiddix Jr. High
Colin Powell Middle School
Creekside Middle School
Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies
Ebinger Elementary School
Edison Primary
Emmons Grade School
Flossmoor Hills Elementary School
Forest Road 
Franklin Fine Arts Center
Galileo Scholastic Academy
Glenwood Academy
Goudy Technology Academy
Granger Middle School
Gurrie Middle School
Hall Elementary
Heritage Middle School (Lansing)
Heritage Middle School (Summit)
Holy Trinity
Immanuel Christian Academy
Infant Jesus of Prague School
Irene C. Hernandez Middle School
Jack London Middle School
John F. Kennedy Middle School
John T. McCutcheon Elementary
Johnnie Colemon Academy
Jungman Elementary
Kankakee Junior High
Kenneth L. Hermansen Elementary 
King Middle Grade School
Krueger Middle School
Ladd Grade School
Leland Community CUSD#1
LeRoy Junior High School
Liberty Intermediate School
Manteno Middle School
Mason Elementary
Monroe Center Grade School
Moos Elementary
Morris Grade School
Nathan Hale
Northlake Middle School
Northwood Middle School
Parker Junior High
Pecatonica Elementary School
Pecatonica Middle School
Pleasant Valley Middle School
Pope John Paul II
Putnam County Elementary School
Richard Ira Jones Middle School
Richard Yates Elementary School
Robert Nathaniel Dett Elementary School
Rosa L Parks Middle School
Rowe Elementary School
Sacred Heart School-96th
Sandridge Elementary
Serena Hills Elementary School
Sherman School of Excellence
Shirland CC School District #134
Shoesmith Elementary
St. John Berchmans
Sunnydale Elementary School
Sunnyside Intermediate School
Trinity Lutheran School
Walker Elementary
Westmont Junior High
Winfield Central School
Winnebago High School
Winnebago Middle School
Wolcott School

Teachers and students engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities in the classroom while learning fundamental principles of energy use and conservation. Students learn best when engaged in inquiry learning — and the activities and explorations included in the program allow them to think, explore, share, and develop a profound respect for energy and the world around them.

We know that teaching others helps us learn as well and the Kids Teaching Kids philosophy woven throughout The NEED Project curriculum helps keep students of all learning styles engaged and excited to learn. The lessons and projects in this program are designed to allow students to teach their peers as well as their local community.

We hope you will join us for this exciting opportunity.



Curriculum Resources

NEED Curriculum Guides - Science of Energy, Solar, Wind, Oil and Natural Gas, Nuclear, Energy Management AND MORE!
Illinois Electric Connections
Natural Gas Activities
Energy Information Administration, Illinois Data
Additional Resources and Links from Partners & Sponsors
Evaluation and Assessment
NGSS Correlation and Support
Science of Electricity

Digital Presentations for the Classroom

Science of Energy
Oil and Gas
Efficiency and Conservation


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