Editor's note: this was originally posted on the National Energy Technology Laboratory's website.
Enter the NETL Energy Zone: Build your own working circuits, experiment with energy transfer, energize an electromagnet to send a metal ring high in the air and battle friends for the title of Energy Champion.
Sound like fun? At Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center, children can explore these exciting exhibits and more as they expand their energy knowledge. NETL’s collaboration with the family-friendly facility is part of the Lab’s commitment to educating the next generation of researchers, scientists and engineers who will one day work to develop technological solutions to the nation’s energy challenges.
Carnegie Science Center is one of four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Located on the Steel City’s North Shore, its mission is to delight, educate and inspire through interactive experiences in science and technology.
NETL first partnered with Carnegie Science Center in 2010, launching an Energy Challenge quiz game to mark the Lab’s 100-year anniversary. Players learn about the importance of energy in their daily lives, how energy works and how they can conserve and reduce energy use as they answer age-appropriate questions to become Energy Champion.
Today, the Energy Challenge is the centerpiece of the NETL Energy Zone, a collection of engaging exhibits designed to stimulate learning through hands-on, minds-on activities. For instance, the Power House exhibit is a miniature home that invites guests to turn on household appliances using switches to see how much energy each uses — or potentially saves.
To date, the NETL Energy Zone has welcomed more than 1.2 million Carnegie Science Center visitors. Among the featured exhibits, the Energy Challenge entertains an estimated 1,500 kids each day, averaging 16 games played each hour the facility is open.
NETL renewed its partnership with Carnegie Science Center in 2018, investing in a modern redesign of the Energy Challenge that updated its look and refreshed its content to reflect current energy topics, trends and issues.
“The NETL Energy Zone is a key component of our efforts to inspire young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Kate Nielsen, who oversees the Lab’s STEM education programs. “NETL seeks to support STEM education at all levels, whether it’s through our visits to regional K-12 schools, graduate education programs, workshops for teachers or online educational resources. Our collaboration with Carnegie Science Center offers a fun way to celebrate energy science and share our work with the community.”
Interested in checking out the popular exhibit? Click here to learn more about visiting Carnegie Science Center.