INL News Release
Aug. 4, 2009

Kortny Rolston, 208-526-0962,
John Lindsay, 208-526-9078,

INL sponsoring energy workshop for Idaho K-12 teachers

IDAHO FALLS -- Educators from around the state are gathering in Idaho Falls to learn about wind, nuclear, solar and other energy sources and how to use that information in their classrooms.

Approximately 100 elementary, junior high and high school teachers are expected to attend the "Idaho Energy Workshop for Teachers" Aug. 3-6 at Skyline High School. Idaho National Laboratory and the State Department of Education are sponsoring the brand-new event.

This year organizers will unveil a new internet resource called Energy for Educators. The resource, online at, provides energy-related activities and lesson plans for busy teachers.

During the four-day workshop, teachers will not only learn about the science and sources of energy but also will participate in hands-on activities they can take back to students throughout Idaho. The sessions will cover solar, wind, nuclear and hydropower energy as well as fossil fuels, conservation and career opportunities in the energy field.

"Our goal is to train teachers to train their students about energy," said Gary Seifert, who manages Wind Powering America's Idaho region and is helping organize the event for INL. "Energy is something that affects all of us and is something students can relate to and understand."

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said providing teachers with more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is a priority nationally and in Idaho. 

"The United States wants to maintain its edge in this area and there's no better way to do that than to provide more hands-on training for our teachers," Luna said. "The state Department of Education is committed to doing that by helping sponsor programs like this one."

STEM education also is a priority for INL and Battelle Energy Alliance, a nonprofit organization that operates the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In addition to sponsoring the workshop, INL and its education programs division are ensuring teachers receive continuing education credit for attending. The lab is covering the cost of that credit for all participants.

INL is one of the DOE's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development.

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