At BEF, we believe education plays a critical role in solving the world’s most pressing energy challenges. Solar 4R Schools fosters educator leadership focused on integration of renewable energy science and technology into STEM education. Our innovative approach makes our program uniquely able to address critical issues around climate change, energy generation and national security, STEM workforce development and teacher preparation. Solar 4R Schools leverages the emergence and growth of distributed energy solutions to demonstrate a real-world example that facilitates interactive learning experiences for students while increasing energy literacy and preparing them for STEM related careers.
In response to evolving distribution systems and energy needs, the U.S. is deploying renewable energy technologies that will continue to require skilled talent, which currently is at a deficit. Today’s teachers have the daunting task of ramping up to more rigorous standards while preparing students for future challenges and addressing opportunity gaps – particularly in under-resourced communities.
Our Goal: The next generation of clean energy leaders is a diverse, creative group of intellectually prepared people motivated to lead the development of energy solutions that replace fossil fuel based energy generation with resilient, innovative, and renewable energy solutions.
To get there 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, cutting-edge online Energy Exploration Center, and hands-on science kits bridge the gap between a demand for STEM education, teacher skill development and seamless integration of these interactive STEM resources into the classroom. Learn more about Solar 4R Schools >>
How we are funded
The Solar 4R Schools 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.
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Meet the Solar 4R Schools team
Learn more about the multidisciplinary team at Solar 4R Schools 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
Since 2002, Solar 4R Schools began installing demonstration scale solar PV systems and included teacher training and science kit materials for Pacific Northwest schools and community organizations in partnership with Bonneville Power Administration and regional consumer-owned utilities to increase awareness and knowledge of the science and benefits of renewable energy.