For Immediate Release: August 13, 2014
Reno, Nev. – Science teachers from across Nevada and Northern California gathered at Squaw Valley last week to take part in a four-day workshop focused on incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards into their classrooms.
Teachers participate in a solar car demonstration during the EnergySmart Education Workshop...
Hosted by the Desert Research Institute’s GreenPower K-12 outreach program and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), the 20-hour professional development session focused on helping teachers unravel the mysteries of the Next Generation Science Standards and strengthen their climate science and energy knowledge and curriculum.
“I’m here because I am really interested in climate and I want to be able to teach it better,” said Warren Wood, an eighth-grade science teacher from Churchhill County Middle School in Fallon. “We’ve had the chance to learn about climate models and using data, this is stuff I think my students can really use if it’s taught correctly. ACE and GreenPower have created a great resource for teachers and I hope to continue to learn more.”
Sponsored by DRI, NV Energy and Southwest Gas, this unique, summer training provided participating teachers with continuing education credits and travel stipends, said Amelia Gulling, DRI’s GreenPower Program Administrator.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our partners,” Gulling said. “Their investment goes directly to helping our educators prepare their students for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.”
EnergySmart Education Workshop Participants.

Teachers had opportunities to connect with several climate scientists and renewable energy experts throughout the week. Guests included Nina Oakley, Ph.D., a climatologist at DRI’s Western Regional Climate Center; Curtis Robins, an associate research scientists at DRI’s Clean Technologies and Renewable Energy Center; and Colin Murphy, Ph.D, a science and technology fellow with the California Council on Science and Technology.
Chad Piekarz, an energy consultant for NV Energy; Bunnie Hale, a teacher ambassador for the California Education and Environment Initiative; and Phil Romi, a science specialist with Sacramento County Office of Education also provided teachers with recommendations on how best to teach the Next Generation Science Standards and develop a variety of inquiry-based lesson plans for teachers to bring back to the classroom.
Topics included what makes a gas a greenhouse gas, getting to the core of climate change, and interactive, hands-on experience with several GreenPower Green Boxes – including electricity, solar energy, climate and thermal energy.
In the 2013-14 school year, the EnergySmart Education program provided more than 90 teachers with professional development teacher training, serving 58 schools throughout Nevada and California and reaching more than 3,400 students. 
For a complete album of photos from the event please visit DRI’s Flickr page at –
About EnergySmart Education:The mission of EnergySmart Education is to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, prepare student for STEM careers, reduce energy usage among teachers, students, and schools, and reduce the environmental impacts from energy and water consumption.  The program provides teacher trainings, Green Boxes, school support, fieldtrips, and a speaker series for preK-12 educators with an emphasis on energy, energy efficiency and related topics.
About Desert Research Institute: DRI, the nonprofit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education, strives to be the world leader in environmental sciences through the application of knowledge and technologies to improve people’s lives throughout Nevada and the world.
About the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE): ACE is an award-winning national nonprofit dedicated to educating America's high school students about the science behind climate change and inspiring them to do something about it –
while having fun along the way. Our goal by 2020 is to educate, inspire and activate 12 million teens and young adults as part of a multigenerational force for carbon reduction and healthy communities.