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✅Save the environment.

✅Tackle problems of today and tomorrow.

✅Do science you’d never get to do in high school.

✅Work in a lab.

✅Shatter assumptions about STEM careers.

These are just a few of the reasons that draw students into working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s growing bioenergy and biomanufacturing workforce, shared by the 2019 cohort of the Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM) summer intensive at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

In order to create the fuels and bioproducts of tomorrow that are derived from plants and biomass, we must attract and train the workforce of the future to lead the way in energy innovation. That’s one of the key topics at hand as the U.S. Department of Energy hosts the InnovationXLab Summit on Biomanufacturing January 28-29 in Berkeley, California, gathering researchers, industry, and academia gather to discuss ways to partner on the transformative area of biomanufacturing.

One way the Department of Energy has made that future investment is through the Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM) summer intensive at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, an eight-week look at the life of a bioenergy scientist.

The program is run by the Joint BioEnergy Institute, funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science to advance biofuel development through a research partnership with four U.S. National Laboratories, six academic institutions, and one industry partner. Between classroom learning sessions, hands-on laboratory skill training, in-depth tours of biotech labs, and meeting with local biotech groups, contributing to research projects, and presenting their findings to the LBNL staff, the students have a robust introduction to bioenergy and biomanufacturing careers.

As Secretary Dan Brouillette says, real progress in biomanufacturing will require contribution and teamwork from our best and brightest, and the future generations of the STEM workforce.

Watch this video to hear from the participants about their experience in the program, and learn more about it here. To learn more about other STEM programs and workforce development at the U.S. Department of Energy, visit the STEM Rising website at