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National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project

The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project promotes energy education among students, educators, and civic leaders through the design and delivery of energy education programs. NEED works with energy companies, local government agencies, and community organizations to provide balanced energy programs to the nation’s schools with a focus on professional development for teachers, curriculum design, and turn-key energy education strategies.

OEP is the state coordinator for the NEED Project; information on the initiative is included within the curriculum for OEP’s Energy Education Camps for K-12 Educators. Camp attendees also learn how to participate in the NEED Youth Awards for Energy Achievement, a competition in which teachers take their energy education programs beyond the classroom and encourage students to engage in school and community outreach to share what they have learned about energy efficiency and conservation.

NEED Youth Awards in Tennessee

To participate in the NEED Youth Awards competition, schools compile their energy education activities for the year and submit an electronic scrapbook of their efforts. Tennessee’s state winners are selected by OEP and are submitted for consideration at the national level. Tennessee schools have been recognized nationally every year since the program’s inception.

The 2020 National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project Youth Award Winners were announced in June. Michie Elementary was respectively named the NEED Project Youth Awards’ National Elementary School of the Year and a National Junior Rookie Finalist. At the state level, they were named the Tennessee Elementary and Junior school of the Year. To view Michie Elementary’s project “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” click here, and to view the Junior project “Conservation of Energy” click here.  Learn more about the NEED Project Youth Awards here.

In 2019, Michie Elementary was named as the State and National Elementary School of the Year and Lipscomb Academy was named as the State and National Primary School of the Year. State winners, finalists, and staff members represented Tennessee at the National Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. from June 21-24. Michie Elementary’ s NEED Project included activities from a previous TDEC OEP K-12 Energy Education Workshop as well as resources from Energy Camp. Click here to view Michie Elementary's NEED project. Click here to view Lipscomb Academy's NEED project.


For more information on the NEED Project and previous winners of the NEED Youth Awards, contact Angela McGee, the NEED Project Tennessee Coordinator, at or 615-532-7816.