Energy Education
Professional Development Options
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Professional development through KEEP helps educators in all grade levels and subject areas integrate energy concepts into the curriculum using various teaching strategies and assessment techniques. Prepare your students to be innovative leaders while they gain 21st century skills to solve energy issues.

For a list of upcoming professional development opportunities, visit the PD calendar at 

The Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE) offers a variety of graduate credit courses and non-credit workshops throughout the year online and in-person at locations around Wisconsin that fulfill the Environmental Education Stipulation. These opportunities have been documented to meet the requirements to fulfill the Environmental Education Stipulation through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as stated in Wis. Stat. 118.19 and Wis. Admin. Code PI 34. Learn more.


Scheduled by request:

KEEP can offer a 2-7 hour workshop or In-service for your district customized to your needs and professional development goals. Increase energy literacy and inquiry in students as you develop new strategies to engage your students in hands-on activities. Contact KEEP for more information about fees and to schedule a workshop in your district today. Substitute reimbursements up to $125/teacher may be available.

Choose from one of these workshops:

Increasing Student Engagement and Literacy Skills through Energy
Infuse relevant information and various teaching methods into content area while increasing student engagement and energy literacy. This workshop will provide engaging, cross-curricular activities that meet ELA standards with a hands-on STEM approach focused on energy concepts. Activities provided will fit with the workshop model and include gathering and analyzing data, exploring feature articles, comparing and contrasting readings, and exposure to current events and text sets. The workshop will include time for collaboration and lesson planning, and a variety of ready-to-use activities will be supplied so teachers can integrate relevant lessons right away. (Meets EE Stipulation)

Energize Your Curriculum with Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is exciting! Does it work in Wisconsin? Get your students excited about renewable energy and the implications it has for our environment and economy, while exploring potential careers in the energy industry. This workshop provides hands-on activities and classroom-based applications for teachers to help analyze energy information and create strategies and techniques to enhance STEM in their classrooms. Use the engineering design process while building a solar cooker, wind and water turbines. Develop phenomena for your NGSS lessons. Workshop participants will receive the KEEP Doable Renewables: Renewable Energy Education Activity Guide. Recommended for teachers of grades 5-12, adaptable to PK-4 audiences. (Meets EE Stipulation)

Utilizing the School Building as a Teaching Tool: Investigations in Energy Efficiency
Empower students and staff to be part of the energy solution through relevant experimentation using cutting-edge technology. This workshop utilizes the school building as a teaching tool to explore energy efficiency concepts and evaluate energy use through hands-on discovery and advice from energy professionals. Participants develop energy-savings action plans that meet demand for project- and STEM-based learning and link to future career options. The workshop will include time for collaboration and lesson planning, and a variety of ready-to-use activities from KEEP's Energy and Your School Activity Guide will be supplied so teachers can integrate relevant lessons right away. Recommended for teachers of grades 5-12 and schools undergoing energy management services.(Meets EE Stipulation)


Place-based Learning: Engaging Students in Sustainability
Learn how to use your building and surrounding community as an extension of your classroom. Explore STEM activities and hands-on tools that will engage students in the process of collecting energy data and developing ways to be more sustainable. An emphasis will be on unique features at your specific site to make learning relevant. Activities include measuring shadow lengths to determine sun's height and location throughout the day and seasons; exploring the wind on-site to determine if the direction and speed of wind changes due to obstructions; taking temperatures of different surfaces around your site to determine how these surfaces effect energy consumption in the building; and utilizing maps to identify features that can be utilized for teaching and increasing sustainability. Recommended for teachers of grades K-6, adaptable for 7-12. (Meets EE Stipulation)

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This workshop offers hands-on activities, class discussions, and classroom-based applications to enhance students' understanding of BioEnergy. Participants will explore BioEnergy resources (including solid biomass, biogas, and liquid biofuels) and discuss the benefits and challenges of utilizing these sources compared with conventional fossil fuels. Through hands-on experiences this workshop will highlight how BioEnergy resources work and how Wisconsin is utilizing them. The workshop will include time for collaboration and lesson planning, and a selection of ready-to-use activities will be supplied so teachers can integrate relevant lessons right away. Recommended for teachers of grades 5-12. 

IMG_20190429_095020.jpgDiscovering Energy in Nature
You’ve likely heard that bringing your classroom outdoors can be an effective way to teach. According to the Children and Nature Network, there are numerous reasons for taking students outside: Nature enhances academic achievement, improves student behavior, motivates the students to learn, promotes communication, improves cooperation, helps students focus, and of course makes them healthier and happier! Join the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP) to discover energy lessons that can effectively be taught outside. Take temperatures to investigate how shading, coloring, and other factors affect temperature; survey different environments to determine how sunlight, soil moisture, temperature, and wind affect living elements in an ecosystem; and spend time in a beautiful setting while making curriculum connections. Recommended for educators of grades K-6, adaptable for 7-12. Explore resources and activities for this workshop. (Meets EE Stipulation)

Solar Energy Education: Using Your School's Solar Dashboard
Use your school's solar resource to engage students and drive teaching and learning with relevant experiences. Your solar electric system can be used in math, science, and social studies lessons to analyze data and explore how utilization of renewable energy impacts our community. 

Forest Health and the Energy Connection: Leveraging Your School Site to Save Energy
Join LEAF and KEEP to explore the intersection between energy conservation and forest health. Your urban forest is a powerful tool improving your community’s air and water quality, reducing heating and cooling needs, and curbing greenhouse gas emissions. We’ll demonstrate how to conduct tree inventories on your school grounds then apply the ecosystem benefits derived to evaluate your school building’s energy management opportunities. You’ll become connected to two online civic science tools for the classroom, the Wisconsin Community Tree Map from the WDNR and PLT’s Teaching with i-Tree, as well as receive training using professional forestry and energy tools available for loan to your school. The workshop will include time for school site assessment and lesson planning, and a variety of ready-to-use activities and tools will be supplied so educators can integrate relevant lessons right away. Recommended for educators of grades 5-12. (Meets EE Stipulation)

Graduate Courses

The WCEE offers one-credit environmental education courses that qualify for Wisconsin continuing education credits including these KEEP energy education courses (click on these links to read course descriptions):

  • NRES 630 - Energy Education in the Classroom
  • NRES 631 - Selected Topics in Energy Education (Topics Vary)
  • NRES 632 - Doable Renewables: Renewable Energy Education in the Classroom
  • NRES 633 - Energy Education: Concepts and Practices - Online Course
  • NRES 634 - School Building Energy Efficiency Education
  • NRES 635 - Renewable Energy Education - Online Course
Note: Prior to 2014, the courses listed above were 700 level courses. If you have taken a KEEP course at the 700 level, you will not be eligible to retake the same course at the 600 level equivalent, unless seven years have passed since you took it.
Course tuition is 65-70% subsidized by Wisconsin utility companies available for practicing Wisconsin educators.

*Please note, KEEP policy is that any scholarship recipient who either drops a course after their tuition has been paid and has passed the refund deadline, fails to complete a course, or receives a failing grade will be ineligible for future scholarships for KEEP courses.

A $150 co-pay applies to all course participants who are eligible for a tuition scholarship.

Pre- and Post-Course Surveys
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To assess the impact of KEEP’s energy education courses, each course participant receives a pre-course survey 1-2 weeks prior to a course starting. A post-course survey is then sent six months after the course. The assessment began in 2013 and includes data from three KEEP courses: Energy Education in the Classroom; Renewable Energy Education in the Classroom; and School Building Energy Efficiency Education. The following is a summary of 2015-16 data:
A comparison of all pre-course and all post-course averages shows an increase between pre- and post-course views on the following:
  • Results revealed a significant increase in personal conservation behaviors such as turning off lights when leaving a room and turning down the heat/air conditioning at night.
  • Teachers agreed more strongly that energy should be included in the curriculum and that they are confident teaching about it. More teachers also taught about energy and encouraged their fellow teachers to teach about energy post-course.
  • Most participants are now using or planning to use the KEEP activities with their K-12 students. Many of those teachers are also visiting their utility provider’s website (51% of participants) and Focus on Energy’s website (43% of participants) to increase their own knowledge.
In 2017, KEEP began implementing a pre-/post-workshop survey which is sent out one month after participating in an energy education workshop. Results will be compiled in 2019.

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