Preparing the Next Generation of Bioenergy Leaders

March 31, 2015

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Engaging and supporting the next generation of renewable energy researchers and innovators is one of the important roles the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) plays in advancing bioenergy and biofuels. BETO provides numerous resources from biomass basics to information about lesson plans and tools for educators. Our materials are suitable for K–12 students, undergraduates and graduates, scientists and engineers, high school teachers and college professors, and anyone interested in learning about the future of energy.

We encourage all creative energy enthusiasts and leaders of tomorrow to check out OPERATION BioenergizeME and other bioenergy facts, data, and tools on the education and workforce development Web page. This is a centralized online resource where you’ll find a wide variety of options to gain a greater understanding of all things bioenergy. Take a look inside the Education Toolbox—a searchable, user-friendly tool that houses hundreds of great resources, including lesson plans, basic information, and videos on a variety of bioenergy and other energy topics. Whether you are interested in learning about a bioeconomy or wish to further your formal education, including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education students, this is the site for you.

BETO loves to engage students in fun, educational activities, contests, and challenges. OPERATION BioenergizeME’s newest initiative, the BioenergizeMe Infographic Challenge, gives students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to work in teams to research a bioenergy topic, create an infographic about what they learned, and share it on social media. Your infographic may even be displayed on the challenge Web page. In fact, you can put your school on the BioenergizeMe Infographic Challenge Map and the first-place team’s work will receive recognition at the annual Bioenergy 2015 conference!

Over the years, BETO has also helped to develop the leadership and management skills of recent graduate students and young academics through a variety of fellowship programs, preparing them for careers in the federal government, science and technology policy, and other sectors. Many staff working in BETO were once fellows themselves.

We also collaborate with states and other organizations to provide funding to university programs focused on bioenergy. For example, Iowa State University is home to Bioeconomy Institute, the Biorenewables Research Laboratory, the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals, and the BioCentury Research Farm. BETO has funded several research projects using these facilities, all of which are great educational resources for students interested in a career in bioenergy.

If you are interested in opportunities to begin or continue your education in bioenergy and other renewable energy fields, check out the Office Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Education and Professional Development website.

Follow @BioenergyKDF on Twitter for news and updates on our OPERATION BioenergizeME and many other bioenergy activities and topics, and Like EERE’s Facebook page.