Renewable Energy Leadership Lab

Application Now Available for 2017-18 School Year!

Solar 4R Schools, a program administered by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), is inviting interested Pacific Northwest K-12 teachers to submit applications to participate in the Renewable Energy Leadership Lab. The Leadership Lab is a year‑long professional development and curriculum design opportunity where teachers create innovative, hands‑on, inquiry‑based renewable energy lessons for the classroom in a peer-supported environment alongside content experts. The Renewable Energy Leadership Lab is designed to create engaging and relevant renewable energy lessons accessible to teachers in the Pacific Northwest and nationwide. Participating teachers will be part of a small group of educators who collaborate throughout the year to design, test and implement exciting new units of lessons in their classrooms while diving deeper into the science of renewable energy. These “units” are typically multi‑day or multi‑week investigations of renewable energy concepts that are broken apart into separate lesson plans. By the end of the program year, participating teachers will have strengthened their understanding of renewable energy and created exploratory, peer-reviewed classroom‑tested lessons that will become part of the Solar 4R Schools online Educator Library.

To support curriculum development portion of this experience, participating teachers will receive:

  • Access to and collaboration with renewable energy content specialists
  • Supportive in‑person discussion of effective pedagogy and unit development strategies with their peer group
  • Periodic remote meetings geared toward advancing the development of developing units with peer review and feedback and chances to troubleshoot together along the way
  • A $5,000 stipend to develop and test their lessons (milestone‑based, two installments)
  • Up to $500 in materials for summer testing phase
  • Up to $1,000 in materials for implementing their lessons in the classroom
  • Up to $2,000 in materials for testing and implementing up to two additional lessons (@$1,000 per additional lesson/unit)

Part of the curriculum development and pedagogical discussion involves the positioning of the selected educators as renewable energy STEM/CTE – themed education nationwide. Teachers will investigate methods in which they can share what they gain from this experience for the highest impact on their peers and students at home.

To support the leadership development part of this experience, participating teachers will receive:

  • Opportunities to present at education conferences and other regional PD events to share the products and takeaways from the Leadership Lab with other teachers in the Pacific Northwest and potentially nationally
  • Support for travel and conference fees associated with leadership opportunities
  • Supportive in‑person discussion of effective means of professional development and guidance in the creation of a leadership plan to map out how to bring this back to their local professional learning comunities
  • Ongoing remote support throughout and beyond their first year of the program as leadership roles continue to develop within their home districts


OUR CURRENT APPLICATION DEADLINE IS:  MAY 8TH, 2017 at 11:59 P.M for the period of June 2017 to June 2018.


Application Requirements

The Renewable Energy Leadership Lab is a yearlong, collaborative professional development opportunity that runs from June 2017 through June 2018. Throughout the year, there will be a minimum of four mandatory in-person collaborative work sessions at the BEF office located in downtown Portland and four mandatory remote meetings taking place in a webinar format. These sessions function as an opportunity for the teacher group to meet, collaborate, discuss, test, and peer review each other’s proposed units. This type of collaboration among teachers is a critical part of what makes this program unique, valuable, and effective


BEF is soliciting proposals from educators who operate in Kindergarten – 12th grade classroom setting. Any educator currently working with students in a public or private K-12 school who is interested in participating and able to fully participate in the program is encouraged to submit a proposal for consideration. Since the five group sessions all take place at the BEF office in Portland, Oregon, applicants should consider this in their decision to apply. Preference will be given to candidates who have not yet participated in the program.

If you have questions about your eligibility for this program, please contact Parker Mullins or call 503-553-3950.

Submittal Requirements

Download a copy of the application here to review before applying online.