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Science that Sparks: The NEED Conference

Tri-State, an electric cooperative, in conjunction with The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, offers a conference to provide educators with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy so they may implement hands-on lessons in their classrooms.


  • June 23-25, 2020 at Tri-State headquarters in Westminster, Colorado
  • Available to 4th-12th grade teachers who are Tri-State member systems’ electric co-op members
  • Educators receive:
    • Hands-on Science of Energy kit for the classroom ($300 value)
    • Professional development credit
    • STEM curriculum regarding the science of energy, sources of energy, electricity efficiency and The NEED Project has over 30 years of energy education and curriculum development experience
    • Assistance meeting math and language arts Common Core Standards
    • Most travel expenses are covered, including lodging, meals and transportation
  • Apply at tristate.coop/NEEDapplication


For more information contact Wendi Moss, The NEED Project, at wmoss@need.org or Michelle Pastor, Tri-State, at mpastor@tristategt.org.

Schedule, June 23-25, 2020

TUE., JUNE 23, DAY 1

08:00    Registration and hot breakfast

08:30    Welcome, introductions, Energy Bingo

09:30    Science of Energy

Learn about the different forms of energy

and explore inquiry activities designed to teach these concepts.

11:30    Story Behind the Switch

Participate in this hair-raising electric safety program that can be facilitated in your

very own classroom. 12:15         Lunch at Tri-State

01:00    Energy Roundup

Explore properties and characteristics of the ten major sources of energy.

01:15    Baseload Balance Activity

02:00    Tour of Tri-State Operations and Energy Markets

04:00    JM Shafer Tour discussion

04:30    Adjourn

Check into hotel, dinner on your own

WED., JUNE 24, DAY 2

 08:00    Field trip: Tour of J.M. Shafer Generating Station, Ft. Lupton, Colorado

11:00    Electric Connections

Understanding the electricity generation mix in the United States.

11:20    Global Trading Game

Consider energy, environment and

economics inter-relationships between entities and countries.

12:30    Lunch at Tri-State

01:00    Energy Enigma

Apply what you’ve leaned so far in this critical- thinking activity.

02:15    Exploring coal and natural gas

Learn more about coal and natural gas using NEED activities.

03:45    Photos

04:15    Science of Electricity Model

Build a Science of Electricity demonstration for your classroom.

05:30    Dinner at Tri-State HQ


THU., JUNE 25, DAY 3

08:00    Exploring wind and solar

Explore the generation of electricity using wind and solar power.

09:15    Tri-State’s cooperative way

09:45    Introduction to Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Understand the simple, low-cost ways to reduce energy consumption and the science behind energy efficiency.

10:30    Energy House

Learn about efficiency, conservation and economic returns by building and insulating a cardboard house.

12:30    Lunch and networking with Tri-State Staff

02:00    Exploring the NEED website

Curriculum available to teachers.

02:45    Energy Jeopardy

03:30    Adjourn