The National Energy Education Summit will take place on January 26, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at the Washington, DC National Airport in Washington, DC. Organized by the Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) the Summit will engage energy educators at all levels and students to build, improve, and expand energy education and serve the needs of diverse populations of students and citizens. The Summit will cover what we teach in energy education, how we teach it, how we can collaborate to teach it better, and how we can overcome critical challenges.
The Summit will include organized symposia, contributed presentations, posters and workshops on how to advance various aspects of energy education. We will also hear from leaders in government, business and industry and civil society in plenary sessions.
Symposia are 90 minutes long and will take place in the morning. Participants can present best practices, explore issues, and set the stage for subsequent workshops where participants can develop actionable outcomes and commitments to further collaboration and work toward implementation. NCSE strongly encourages symposium organizers to convene a set of speakers who are diverse in perspectives as well as demographics. The purpose of the symposia is to highlight significant activities, share experiences and create a common vocabulary and a base of knowledge that will set the stage for further dialogue in the corresponding afternoon workshop.
The afternoon workshops will generate pathways for action on key challenges in energy education through refining existing and developing new strategies, tools, and partnerships. The workshop will be a 3-hour facilitated discussion to capture additional feedback on the symposium topic, share additional practices and lessons learned, and catalyze the diversity and creativity of the group to shape ideas and actions to help advance the field. Presentations will take place only during the symposia, in order to use the full time of the workshop for brainstorming and discussion that can build partnerships and strategies.
Outcomes from each workshop will be constructive, action-oriented, non-partisan, science-based approaches to improving energy education. As an outcome, the workshop leader will provide an outline of an action plan that the participants are interested in helping with following the conference. CEREL and NCSE will share the plans with conference participants, decision makers, and funders. We hope to work with workshop leaders to help facilitate follow up activities, including as partners in proposals for funding.
For example, a session on new degree and certificate pathways could begin with a symposium featuring 3-5 presentations from individuals who have been involved in setting up new programs, followed by questions and answers. The accompanying workshop could include time for other participants to share experiences, and then shift to group discussion on what successful new efforts in this area might look like, and how to avoid pitfalls. Time should be devoted to identifying common needs and articulating how to move forward. The outcome might be a working group that would meet over the next year to develop a guidance document for those who are setting up new programs.
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