Puget Sound Renewable Educator Leadership Institute

Leadership Institute Save the Date


The Renewable Educator Leadership Institute is an innovative teacher professional development opportunity for Pierce, Snohomish, and King County K-12 educators who seek to meaningfully engage students in preparation for STEM careers. The weeklong summer institute leverages two major change elements of our society – the emergence of the new energy economy and the changing power grid – as demonstrations of real-world systems that can facilitate impactful, interactive learning experiences for students. The Leadership Institute is provided by BEF Solar 4R Schools, and is sponsored by Boeing Foundation, with additional support from M.J.Murdock Charitable Trust and the Bonneville Power Administration.


About the Renewable Educator Leadership Institute

Renewable energy is changing the nature of the power grid from a relatively simple model of one-way supply and demand to a more complicated system of consumers who are also producers. These rapid, nationwide changes to a critical infrastructure require teams of innovative workers ready to transcend traditional disciplines. Our hope is that students today will be hired for positions for these systems-based careers, including many that may not yet exist. This comes in the context of a changing utility employee base; A 2013 white paper from PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that nearly half of utility employees are eligible for retirement by 2017[1]. Additionally, the 2015 National Solar Jobs Census “found that the [solar] industry continues to exceed growth expectations, adding workers at a rate nearly 12 times faster than the overall economy and accounting for 1.2% of all jobs created in the U.S. over the past year.”[2] These factors add to the urgency for energy literacy and innovative thinking in our communities.

The Renewable Educator Leadership Institute is designed to bring innovative and forward-thinking leaders of the classroom together, creating a team of professional teachers who will pave the way towards a more sustainable tomorrow. Participants will spend a week immersed in a STEM curriculum, using NGSS tools to experience and understand renewable energy and the power grid. Educators will learn about the science and technology of renewable energy while exploring engineering challenges and mathematical applications. Participants will bring their innovative ideas to life at the institute and return back to their school districts with durable science kits and training resources to share with their districts. After this Leadership Institute, participants will help other teachers prepare their students to better understand current and future energy challenges in the world.

Next Generation Science Standards align well with Solar 4R Schools’ goal to prepare the next generation of energy leaders. The week of activities and instruction will model methods to bring renewable energy topics into the classroom using NGSS, and will help teachers become NGSS leaders as well. The Leadership Institute will additionally foster collaboration and peer evaluation to strengthen pedagogical development of energy, engineering and NGSS tasks. As a result of this training, interested teachers will receive up to 32 hours of WAC-180 Clock Hours at no charge.

Location and Date

July 24 - 28 2017

University of Washington - Bothell

~ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm Daily

Eligibility and Qualifications

This opportunity is open to applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Formal K-12 educator working in a school district in either Pierce, Snohomish or King Counties in Washington
  • Prepared and available to participate in the 5-day Institute in its entirety
  • Demonstrated (or strong desire to become) leaders within their communities
  • Prepared and able to train up to 20 teachers within their respective districts on STEM renewable energy topics and activities
  • Able to manage or facilitate a district-level renewable energy science kit (or kits)
  • Ready with an idea to develop into an NGSS-aligned task or project related to renewable energy

The table below summarizes this opportunity. 

2016 Example Application Guide Available Here >>>




TBA - Applications accepted beginning in 2017

To Submit your Proposal

Download 2016 Example Application Guide >>>

Please email the application file and any supporting documents to Solar 4R Schools.

Decision Timeline

All applications will be reviewed by committee following the rubric TBA.

Questions about Application? 

Contact Laura Nicholson by email or call 503-553-3955.

[1] 2013. PricewaterhouseCoopers. Power and utilities changing workforce: Keeping the lights on. https://www.pwc.com/us/en/power-and-utilities/publications/assets/pwc-power-utilities-changing-workforce.pdf

[2] 2016. The Solar Foundation. 2015 National Solar Jobs Census. http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/national/