K12 Teacher Workshops

Summer Workshop on Energy Education for Teachers

On June 17-18, Dr. Carolyn Koh, William K. Coors Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering faculty and active Nexus member, led the Summer Workshop on Energy Education for Teachers (SWEET), a workshop dedicated to local STEM-focused high school teachers. About 20 area educators learned from Mines’ faculty cutting-edge technology, skills and classroom activities related to energy transition and utilization.

Despite there being a pandemic and all instruction was remote, the faculty found ways to provide hands-on sessions.

Those running SWEET were Prof. Koh, Prof. Ryan Richards, Prof. Brian Trewyn, and Prof. Ning Wu of Colorado School of Mines, along with National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Research Engineer Luis “Tony” Martinez-Tossas, and Arrupe Jesuit HS Senior Teacher Stephan Graham and Golden High School Senior Teacher Jessie Swift.

Subject matter for the SWEET workshops included lithography and its application to electronics and devices for lasers, detectors and energy conversion, blade design for wind energy, state of the art synthesis technology for biodiesel, renewable energy efficiencies in biofuels, wind, solar and hydroelectric and interfaces-surfactants-emulsions and its connection to lithography. Activities were designed to incorporate the latest technology with hands-on activities, specific to high school teachers, but were also adaptable to a broader range of skills and age groups.

Overall, the impact of the SWEET workshop is estimated to help about 210 high school students.

The workshop was “highly successful and impactful, especially being held and adapted to the COVID situation,” said Prof. Koh, “and was strongly interactive with valuable exchange of information between instructors and teachers and vice versa. The number of students positively impacted is significant.”

The Nexus is expected to run this workshop again in 2021. Please continue to check our website for more information on how to participate. The project lead, Dr. Carolyn Koh; can be reached at (303) 273-3237, ckoh@mines.edu, or you can visit her faculty page.