You are here

Utah’s motto is “Life Elevated” and the Governor’s Office of Energy Development has readily applied this to their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy funds work, via a formula grant from the State Energy Program, to support the Utah Power and Energy Career Expo and assist teachers with energy literacy and classroom activities.

Read on to learn about some of Utah’s STEM programs for K-12 students, continued learning, teachers, and workforce that are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

K-12 Inspiration

This month, the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development in partnership with Utah State University and GreenpowerUSA is looking for middle school, high school, and university Greenpower teams from across the nation to join the Mountain West Grand Prix on April 21-22, 2020.

The Greenpower Electric Car Challenge is a STEM competition for educational institutions to design and build a single-seat, electric-powered race car. Through the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program, Utah is responsible for growing the number of participating schools while supporting the more than 20 Greenpower teams in the state through the sponsorship and execution of the annual Mountain West Grand Prix.

Students participating in the annual Greenpower race at the Utah Motorsports Campus in April 2019
Students participating in the annual Greenpower race at the Utah Motorsports Campus in April 2019
Courtesy of the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development

Career Focus

This February, approximately 200 students, faculty, and company representatives gathered in Utah to attend the Second Annual Utah Power and Energy Career Expo. The HS, undergrad, and graduate students and teachers got to meet staff from organizations including Idaho National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, and learn about the latest trends in energy security, resiliency, and workforce development from industry experts. Networking was encouraged, connecting the attendees to companies looking for top talent to power the energy sector of the future.

Photo from 2019 Utah Power and Energy Career Expo
Photo from 2019 Utah Power and Energy Career Expo
Image courtesy of the Utah Governor's Office

The Expo was organized by the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development in partnership with the Utah Smart Energy Laboratory and the University of Utah’s Career and Professional Development Center.

On the same day as the Expo, the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development in partnership with Chevron, announced the fourth annual Utah Energy Workforce Scholarship. The scholarship funds Utah students pursuing STEM degrees or licensed certificates from Utah universities or technical colleges, aiming to boost the number of students in Utah entering the energy and minerals sector. Students, apply by April 15 to a chance to win a scholarship – winners will be announced at the Governor’s Energy Summit on May 18, 2020.

To date, the program has awarded $65,000 in scholarships to Utah’s talented students. Learn more with this video from 2018 scholarship recipient Jaden Defa.

Teacher Tools

Teachers at OED’s Professional Development Workshops in October 2019.
Teachers at OED’s Professional Development Workshops in October 2019.
Image courtesy of the Utah Governor's Office

To make a long-term inroads to boost Utah students’ STEM learning, with funding from the Department of Energy, the State of Utah’s Office of Energy Development collaborated with the Utah Science Teachers Association to develop 35 K-12 energy lesson plans that meet new state science standards. Educators can learn about the lesson plans by attending state-wide professional development events run by the Office of Energy Development that walk 50 teachers through 12 featured lesson plans. The educators are provided with lesson plan kits for each featured curricula, to make the content work for their classes.

Additionally, Utah is elevating (there it is again) teachers using the energy curriculum and driving tomorrow’s energy workforce by celebrating teacher success. The new annual Governor’s Energy Educator Award recognizes an educator for excellence in energy education, providing the winners with a $500 cash prize. 

Teachers can also dive into Utah’s Office of Energy Development’s energy and mineral video series -- K-12 Hands on Activities.

For more information on the Department of Energy’s STEM programs and resources, visit the STEM Rising website at http://www.energy.gov/STEMand sign up for the monthly STEM Rising newsletter.