About CE (formerly called Solar 4R Schools)

The Solar 4R Schools program has a new identity!  We are getting a new name and new look that better represents the scope and impact of our program.  You may notice some instances of the program’s historical name embedded in some of our content and URLs for kiosks for some time until the full transition is complete. Thanks for understanding!
 
CE program logo

What is CE?

CE is a national clean energy, career connected education program from Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Together with schools, educators and industry, we strive to build a clean energy future to ensure that our communities and the environment are thriving and resilient. We work to expand access to opportunities for all students regardless of their geography, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. CE is funded by corporations, regional utilities, and philanthropic organizations. To date, our funders have impacted more than 150,000 students nationwide through CE programming.

CE Vision: Powered by a clean energy economy, our communities and environment are thriving and resilient – in one generation.

Theory of Change

The Challenge

  • The current energy workforce is retiring at a rapid pace, while at the same time energy jobs are evolving into one of the fastest growing career options

  • The energy industry needs tech-savvy problem solvers, but is faced with a talent (workforce) and skills gap

  • Students around the country and particularly in under-resourced and underserved communities face with an opportunity gap and inequitable access to these opportunities

This prompts the question: How do we inspire and prepare the future energy talent (workforce) and consumers to engage in the clean energy economy, when energy is something not well understood by many and overlooked by most?

CE Strategy

To face this challenge, CE provides educators (formal and nonformal), with tools and resources that illuminate pathways to science and engineering career opportunities for all students, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, geography or socioeconomic status. By collaborating with educators, we co-create locally relevant clean energy programming that meets district or organizational educational goals and priorities.

Logic Model

 

CE Theory of Change

 

Tactics

CE’s customized solutions employ a variety of tactics:

  • Directly engage with schools, districts and community organizations
  • Provide customized teacher trainings & leadership institutes
    • Ranges from a conference session, to full-day training, summer institute or year-long curriculum development lab
  • Create teacher generated classroom lesson plans published to our online Educator Library
  • Equip educators with durable, innovative science materials
  • Design engaging student Engineering Challenges
  • Develop online solar data displays and interactive kiosks

Program Impact

  • Reached 150,000+ Students
  • Activated in 25 States and Washington D.C.
  • Trained 1,700 Teachers
  • Engaged 580 Schools
  • Equipped Educators with $570,000 in Science Materials
  • Installed and Leveraged 9.7 MW PV Solar
  • Provided 9,000 Hours of Professional Development

 

On this website...

We’ve developed one of the most comprehensive, teacher-driven renewable energy education programs available to K-12 teachers nationwide. Our customized teacher trainings, teacher-generated classroom activities, online solar Energy Exploration Center, and hands-on science kits bridge the gap between a demand for CTE/STEM education, teacher skill development and seamless integration of these interactive STEM resources into the classroom.

 

How we are funded

The CE program relies on the support of our corporate, foundation, nonprofit and utility funding partners to extend the reach of our hands-on STEM renewable energy education resources to classrooms nationwide. In some cases, local schools and school districts are able to providing matching or partial funding to their project, thanks to educational foundations, donations and crowd-funding initiatives. 

EXPLORE SOLUTIONS THAT WILL BE THE BEST FIT FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION >>

BROWSE OUR GROWING LIST OF FUNDING PARTNERS >>

 

Meet the CE team

Learn more about the  multidisciplinary team at CE and find out who is the best contact person to address your inquiry. Meet our team >>

 
Careers at BEF

Learn more about potential career opportunities at BEF. Careers >>

 

History of the Program

Solar4RSchools Logo_old16

Since 2002, Solar 4R Schools began as a program of BEF that installed demonstration scale solar PV systems with teacher training and science kit materials for Pacific Northwest schools and community organizations to increase awareness and knowledge of the science and benefits of renewable energy. Solar 4R Schools did this work in partnership with Bonneville Power Administration, regional consumer-owned utilities, and corporate and philanthropic partners.

Right now, we are witnessing the emergence of the clean energy economy. We’re seeing rapid innovation and growth in distributed energy generation, storage, and grid solutions, along with the career opportunities that accompany such growth. But we are simultaneously faced with an impending retirement boom, nationwide STEM skills gap, and need to resource and support the teachers who prepare students. There also exists an inequity of access to these new, exciting career opportunities – particularly for young women, young people of color and students from rural communities.

These changes drove the updates to the Solar 4R Schools program logic model and theory of change, and also the tactics we use to support educators and the companies that seek to develop tech-savvy talent to build a skilled workforce and future leaders for energy utilities, renewable energy development, advanced power grid technology, advanced or additive manufacturing, clean tech, IT and other STEM-related career paths.

We still provide some of the popular opportunities for schools to apply for support to install a demonstration-scale solar system connected to educational programming and materials, however we’ve earmarked this support for areas that have been identified as key target areas for this type of project. Please review the options on our Apply tab of this site for details.

 

2016 GreenPowerLeadershipAward_logo

 

 

 

 

 

BEF's education program receives National Leadership Award!
10/19/15—Press Release, U.S. EPA and CRS Recognize BEF with National Leadership in Green Power Education Award for Renewable Energy Education