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 310,800 students nationwide through CE programming. Download the CE program two-pager for a summary of our work and impact with partners nationwide.
CE Vision: Powered by a clean energy economy, our communities and environment are thriving and resilient – in one generation.
Theory of Change
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
We seek to address the following question: How do we inspire and prepare the future energy workforce and consumers to engage in the clean energy economy, when energy is something not well understood by many and overlooked by most?
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.
CE’s customized solutions employ a variety of tactics:
- Directly engage with schools, districts and community organizations
- Provide customized teacher trainings & leadership institutes for Clean Energy Fellows and Clean Energy Coaches
- Ranges from a conference session, to full-day training, summer institute or year-long curriculum development lab
- Fellows and Coaches receive stipends for their time and effort
- Create teacher generated classroom lesson plans published to our online Educator Library
- Equip educators with durable, innovative science materials
- Co-Design engaging student Engineering Challenges and other STEM/STEAM enrichment activities
- Reached 310,800+ Students
- Activated in 26 States and Washington D.C.
- Trained 4,650+ Educators
- Engaged 1,500 Schools
- Equipped Educators with $1.2M in Science Materials
- Provided 17,400 Hours of Professional Development
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
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.
BEF's CE Program Wins 2021 Green Power Leadership Award for Education
September 2021—EPA and CRS Press Release
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