The Environmental Resource Program works to promote an energy literate society by providing K-12 teachers with access to current scientific information and relevant resources. For more information about the Center for Public Engagement with Science’s energy-related teacher professional development opportunities contact Dana Haine at or (919) 843-5735.

Energy Literacy Fellows Program

This year-long professional development program will showcase current energy science, technologies and careers to enhance Energy Literacy Fellows’ ability to deliver energy-related content, conduct STEM-based activities and promote STEM career opportunities to students. Fellows will interact with diverse scientists, engineers and industry representatives to receive up-to-date, curriculum-relevant content and engage in hands-on, inquiry-based activities designed to support learning about the science of energy.

Previous Workshop Topics

Algae tent reactorAlgae, Biofuels and Carbon Capture

In this day-long workshop, teachers will evaluate the sustainability of different biofuel feed stocks with emphasis on algal biofuels and will also learn about algae’s potential to capture carbon at CO2 sources like power plants. The role of genetic engineering in algal biofuel production will also be discussed.

Click here for resources from this workshop.

 DSC_0060Exploring the Future of Electricity

During this day-long workshop, participants gain ideas for enhancing the energy literacy of students and receive classroom-ready resources to help students critically evaluate all of the energy sources used to generate electricity while also learning about renewable energy sources and other technologies that will be needed to meet electricity demand in the 21st century. Participants conduct activities and receive instructional materials and supplies aligned with the NC Essential Standards for Science.

DSC_0204Exploring the Water and Energy Connection

In this multiday workshop, teachers hear from energy experts about the energy realities of the 21st century while considering the role of water in the mining and acquisition of energy sources and the generation of electricity. Teachers also tour UNC’s cogeneration facility and the hydropower plant at the John H. Kerr Dam.


IMG_0601Investigating Woody Biomass & Electricity Generation

These day-long interactive teacher workshops provide teachers with instructional resources for fostering critical thinking about the use of woody biomass for electricity generation among students. Teachers hear from local biomass experts and tour the Craven Wood Energy Plant.