Youth Awards2020-04-24T15:22:56+00:00

NEED Youth Awards

All NEED schools have outstanding classroom-based programs in which students learn about energy. Some schools have student leaders who extend these activities into their communities. To recognize outstanding achievement and reward student leadership, The NEED Project conducts the National Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement. Free to participate, this program combines academic competition with recognition to acknowledge everyone involved in NEED during the year – and to recognize those who achieve excellence in energy education in their schools and communities. The students and teachers set goals and objectives and keep a record of their activities. In April, the students combine their materials into presentations and submit them online.

The Youth Awards Program is great for all schools—new to energy education, or veteran. Projects and outreach completed for the program provide opportunity for enrichment and engagement, as well as an opportunity for your students, classroom, and school to shine.


Obtain a loose leaf binder or keep a digital file in which to compile all of the activities, work samples, photos and videos you collect along the way as you work through your project. Use these items to help create your digital slideshow in PowerPoint or other similar software. Your slideshow must be able to be saved as a PDF for uploading once complete. Make sure your slides follow this format.

Reporting and documentation is limited to the slide limits set for each type of project. Projects with excess slides will not be considered in judging.

Outline of Slides to include in your project documentation

Slide 1

School Name

Project Title

Advisor’s Name

Summary of the Project that emphasizes the activities, one to two paragraphs in length

Project Reporting information including your well-defined goals and activities
Refer to the Outline and Information Planner and the Rubric for Evaluation to help organize your slideshow.
Use the outline to help you report about each project goal. Fill out one outline per goal.

Back-up Documentation
Include documentation following each goal that highlights the activities. This includes, but is not limited to: photos, work samples, etc.

Sample display of 15 slides Level 1 – Signature Project

  • Multi-faceted outreach project that is student-driven
  • Covers several energy content areas and activities
  • Completion of a 15-slide digital slideshow that showcases goals of projects, activities completed, and results achieved
  • Projects are uploaded to the Youth Awards Project submission web site
  • Projects will be judged at the state and national levels with the opportunity to attend the National Recognition Ceremony in June
  • Special recognition may be given to projects that excel in one the following areas:
    Exemplary Community Energy Education
    Energy Engineering and Design
    School Energy Efficiency


Sample of 4 presentation slidesLevel 2 – Foundation Project

  • Single activity outreach project that is student-driven
  • Focuses on a limited content area or set of activities
  • Completion of a 4-slide digital slideshow that showcases the goals and results of the project
  • Projects are uploaded to the Youth Awards Project submission web site
  • Projects will be recognized at the local level for outstanding efforts in the classroom and the community (Foundations Projects will not be eligible to attend the National Recognition Ceremony in June.)


Groups may elect to submit video documentation with their submissions. Videos will be considered but are not required, and will be displayed throughout the National Recognition weekend and on the NEED web site.

  • Videos should be no longer than three minutes
  • Videos should be created and uploaded to YouTube for hosting
  • A link to the video must be shared when completing application information on the Youth Awards Project submission web site Programs should ensure students have completed their school’s media release documentation, if necessary
Submit Your Project

Submit your project online by April 30, 2020.


All Guides in the NEED Shop are FREE to download as .pdfs



Youth Awards Program Guide

Includes information and instructions for completing a project and entering the program.

Download the Guide

Submit Your Project

Projects are due April 30th

Submit Your Project

Youth Energy Leadership Award 2020

2020 Leadership Award Application

2020 Leadership Award Application – PDF or Word Doc


The deadline to submit your Youth Award project has been extended due to school closures! Schools interested in having their project compete against other schools need to submit projects by April 30th. Schools interested in receiving recognition but who do not want their project to compete may submit projects by May 29th

The deadline to submit projects is April 15, 2020. Projects must be uploaded to the site by this date, and projects submitted after the deadline will not be judged.


Save your project as a PDF for uploading to the submission site. All projects must be uploaded in PDF format. Please make sure the file name includes your school name and category (schoolname.level.pdf).



2019 National Winners

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2018 National Winners

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Students who participate in the Youth Awards Program and meet criteria as determined by their Lead Teacher are invited to attend the Youth Energy Conference and Awards.

The Annual NEED Youth Energy Conference and Awards gives students more opportunities to learn about energy and to explore energy in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). The annual June conference will have students from across the country working in groups on an Energy Challenge designed to stretch their minds and energy knowledge.

Check out the Youth Energy Conference page for more info!