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Advancing Energy Innovation through Mentorship and Outreach
Research associate Julia Lauterbach working in the lab with mentor Candice Ellison.

Director’s Corner

by Brian Anderson, Ph.D.

NETL is committed to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. We demonstrate that commitment by fostering the next generation of energy experts and innovators with a range of programs and activities that provide opportunities for college and university students and faculty as well as hands-on learning experiences for all students, teachers and the general public. 

Dedicated mentors at our research sites in Albany, Oregon; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, help students advance their skills and understand how their interest in STEM fields can translate into STEM careers. 

One exciting example of NETL’s STEM activities is the regional Science Bowl competitions we host in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. For more than 30 years, NETL and our partners have hosted fun and challenging events for our regions’ schools. 

As a former competitor myself, I know first-hand how valuable it is to have a venue that not only sparks students’ inspiration but also rewards excellence so that our academic achievers receive recognition for their dedication and success. The regional competitions NETL hosts qualify teams to compete at the DOE National Science Bowl®, which is one of the nation’s largest science competitions.    

This month, NETL is featuring its STEM efforts on our website and social media platforms. Check back throughout February to read more about: 

  • How volunteers who serve at the annual NETL Science Bowl competitions share an unwavering commitment to help the Lab present exciting, high-quality tournaments that generate enthusiasm for STEM and encourage middle and high school students to explore STEM-related careers.
  • How NETL research associates and mentors who participate in the Professional Internship, Postgraduate Research, and Faculty Research programs collaborate to address some the nation’s greatest energy challenges and lay the groundwork for future successes of STEM specialists.

NETL takes seriously our obligation to mentor the next generation of innovators and energy experts, and I’m pleased to share a snapshot of our efforts to inspire and guide our nation’s future STEM professionals and problem solvers.