K-12 education is an essential part of setting students up for success in STEM careers. According to “STEM Perceptions: Student & Parent Study” by Microsoft Corp, 78 percent of STEM college students decide to study STEM in high school or earlier. In comparison, 21 percent choose STEM in middle school or earlier.
At the National Energy Foundation, we provide exposure to career paths in energy for middle schoolers, increasing the real-world application of our literacy programs. Through classroom discussion and activities, we reach students at crucial ages as they explore jobs and plan high school courses.
Our high school and other presentations and curriculum examine specific opportunities in the energy efficiency, safety and electric vehicle fields. Educating students as they make decisions regarding trade career training and post-secondary education sets up energy careers as viable futures.
Responding to the growing energy workforce is especially integral to federal, state and utility efficiency and carbon-reduction initiatives. Filling these positions equally from among the most diverse generation yet is vital to energy justice and sustainability.
Providing Career Mentorship
Data shows women and people of color, especially Blacks and Latinos, need more than STEM education to pursue STEM careers. They also need representation and mentorship.
A 2020 study in the STEM Education Journal surveyed those in college, graduate school, or recent graduates who identify as an ethnic minority. 54 percent stated meeting a STEM professional of their gender and ethnicity would be an effective encouragement to pursue STEM.
We are privileged to partner with Ameren Illinois on a program providing energy career mentorship to a diverse group of individuals considering work in the energy field. We support the Ameren Illinois Internship Program through weekly webinars, educating participants about efficiency and connecting them with industry professionals.
Our curriculum goes beyond K-12 into trade and post-secondary education webinars with an emphasis on workforce development. With outreach designed for students at every level, we help support students on their journey towards a fulfilling energy career.