Project Description




Interested in applying for the 2020-2021 school year? New and returning school applications below.

Apply online here!

Application for new schools (PDF)

Application for returning schools (PDF)

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?

  • Two-Day Professional Development for a team of 2 teachers per school and a One-Day refresh workshop mid-year
  • An opportunity to request up to $500 in additional classroom grant funds for field trips, supplies, or other resources.
  • Up to $1500 of hands-on kits and curriculum
  • An Energizing Student Potential Energy Fair Kit to host an Energy Fair and Carnival at your school (includes a mini-grant of $100 for additional supplies)
  • Access to Educational Energy Audits
  • 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 programming
  • Replenishment for all kits and supplies
  • Access to Educational Energy Audits
  • Two days of Professional Development
  • Schools returning to the program receive the opportunity to apply for grants, receive replenishment supplies for kits, attend training, and sign up for Energy Audits.

Interested in applying? Email

See if your school is eligible! View the eligible counties list here.

2019- 2020 Program Resources

Teacher Program Guide for 2019-2020
2019-2020 Program Timeline
Energizing Student Potential Field Trip Offerings
Program Management Software Site Log In
Energy Fair in a Box Information
ESP Energy Fair Press Release
Press Release to Announce School Acceptance into ESP
Teacher Evaluation – due June 1st
Student Evaluation (optional) – due June 1st
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
ESP Kahoot! Interactive Quiz – Test student energy knowledge with this interactive quiz. Answer questions quicker for more points, and see how they do against other challengers. Great for remote learning and refreshing energy information.
Multimedia Release
Final Project Guidelines
ESP IL/IN SmugMug Photo Gallery

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
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

Grant management software provided by WizeHive