The Wisconsin Energy Institute works closely with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center to support both cutting-edge energy research and a variety of educational programs that leverage the research to enhance teaching and learning associated with understanding energy. WEI education programs target the key ideas associated with energy transformations, economic energy considerations, and energy-related societal impacts.
These educational programs are designed to support formal and informal educators, K-12 and undergraduate learners, and the general public and policy makers who are seeking to understand the very latest in energy and sustainability research.
Undergraduate educational programs
- Certificate in Engineering for Energy Sustainability: Open to undergraduates at UW-Madison, this certificate program offers undergraduate students a suite of courses addressing energy sustainability that span across the engineering curriculum, with firm roots in “real world” design and engineering practices. See certificate requirements and learn more.
- Introductory college sustainable biofuels course: Open to UW-Madison undergraduate students also taking first semester General Chemistry and Environmental Studies: People and Resources, this three-credit undergraduate course explores a wide range of interdisciplinary issues associated with bioenergy. There is a strong focus on systems perspectives and understanding the complexities that are involved and so typical for modern scientific and technological challenges. Learn more.
- Research Experiences for undergraduates: These programs provide students with the opportunity to become actively engaged in research laboratories. From conducting their own research project to presenting research summaries, students have the opportunity to test their interests in scientific or engineering careers. View programs and requirements.
Resources for educators
- K-12 Lessons and activities: Teachers and professional educators associated with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center work closely with scientists to develop materials for the classroom. Many of the techniques described are the same, or closely mimic those conducted by bioenergy researchers, with adaptations made as necessary to work within the constraints of the K-16 classroom. Get lessons and activities.
- Research experiences for teachers: The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center's Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program offers K-16 educators interested in conducting bioenergy research, writing curriculum and incorporating bioenergy lessons into their classes the opportunity to participate in the research of the center and the corresponding development of educational materials around the topic of biofuels. Teachers participating in the program will spend seven weeks of the summer working with scientists at UW-Madison or Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station involved in cutting-edge research. Learn more.
- Summer workshops for educators: K-12 educators interested in incorporating bioenergy lessons into their classes can attend this one-week summer program to learn about core areas of GLBRC research, get hands-on experience with bioenergy education materials, and delve into the development of inquiry-based classroom activities. Participants are expected to use materials from the Insitute during the following school year. Teams of 3-4 educators (teachers, curriculum coordinators, etc.) are encouraged. Learn more.