Eighth Annual Energy Day Festival Is A Huge Success

HOUSTON – October 20, 2018 – Families, students, educators, and local industry leaders gathered at Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston this past Saturday for Houston’s Eighth Annual Energy Day Festival, hosted by the Consumer Energy Education Foundation (CEEF), along with its partner Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA).

The free event – which is now the largest energy-focused festival in the nation — centers on celebrating the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and their innovative impact on the energy industry. Energy Day Festival featured more than 60 interactive exhibits and demonstrations, from several of Houston’s leading companies – including Caterpillar, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Direct Energy, Golden Pass, Noble Energy, Phillips 66, TechnipFMC, Telemundo and TransCanada. Each exhibitor was on hand to greet, educate, and entertain what Houston Police Department estimated to be more than 25,000 people who attended despite the rainy weather. From robots demonstrations by FIRSTRobotics and Microsoft to LEGO engineering and rocket-making, this year’s exhibitors showcased cutting-edge technology in an accessible format to students as a way to excite the next generation about career opportunities in the energy industry.

“Houston has long been known as the ‘energy capital of the world,’ and the Energy Day Festival has quickly become a fixture in championing local and national STEM efforts related to energy, showcasing some of the fascinating career opportunities that await the next generation,” CEEF Founder and Energy Day organizer David Holt said. “Creativity and innovation is key to maintaining energy leadership in oil, natural gas, wind, solar, and energy conservation; and it’s events such as this that encourage and inspire students to challenge themselves, expand their minds, and pursue opportunities to further their potential as future industry leaders.”

Each year as part of the Energy Day Academic Program (EDAP), CEEF and CEA partner with local and regional STEM-focused competitions in technology, computing, robotics, and inventions, and the winning teams and students are awarded onstage at an awards ceremony at Energy Day in the fall. These programs provide students with opportunities to learn about robotics, STEM and engineering concepts, problem-solving, teamwork, and technical applications. Competitions include the SeaPerch Challenge, MATE ROV competition, the All Earth Ecobot Challenge, The Science Engineering Fair of Houston, The Houston Affiliate NCWIT Aspiration in Computing Award, the CSTEM Challenge, the Young Inventors’ Showcase, the Energy Day Art, Essay, & Media Contest, and the John Kingsley Kerver Educator Award. 2019 will see several more competitions added to EDAP: National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), International Sustainable World Energy Engineering Environment Project (ISWEEEP), and the Conrad Challenge.

During the awards ceremony at 2018 Energy Day Houston, partners and sponsors awarded over $24,000 to 184 students and teachers in 11 categories.

Since EDAP began in 2011, CEEF and CEA have awarded nearly $130,000 to more than 800 K-12 students and teachers at the Energy Day Festival.

For more on this year’s festival – including photos and videos – please click here. The next Houston-based Energy Day is scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2019.

For more information on the festival, visit the Energy Day Houston website.

Contact:

Colleen McCauley
P: 713-377-3332

What’s Your STEM Story?

Everyone has a story. I have a story. I tell my story often because I don’t want the same thing to happen to other people. However, my story gets old, so we want to hear your stories.

We have a problem that needs a solution: not enough students stay on a STEM path in school, and therefore we have a workforce development issue in STEM industries.

We think one way to combat this issue is to shatter the stereotypes of who works in these industries. So how do we do that? We can tell your stories. Who are you? What kind of things do you like? What did your journey to get where you are look like?

Your stories give students (especially girls and minorities) an example of what their lives could look like. They can see their future selves in you. We want to provide educators, parents, and students with real stories and content that is relevant and will inspire students to continue on a STEM path (and ultimately want to come work for you).

Another way to break down these stereotypes is to show students what current and future STEM jobs really look like. We want to open their minds to discover that working in a STEM field doesn’t mean they’ll be stuck in a lab or at a computer all day. So what does your company do? How does your organization apply STEM concepts that students are learning to what the company does on a daily basis. And how does your company affect the rest of the world? Why do you exist, and what would our lives be like without the things you do?

Other things that are helpful:

  • Any videos of interviews or activities with employees
  • Any fun activities your organization does outside of an office setting
  • Anything your organization does that would seem outside of the box (something less traditional or non-stereotypical) that we could share with students to show them more about potential careers in this industry
  • Any cool experiments or STEM activities that relate to what your organization does

We’re also asking for students and educators to share their stories with us, and we’ll ultimately have a series on these, so check back for that.

If you’d like to contribute content like this to help us encourage the next generation of STEM leaders, please reach out to Paige Barnes.

Colorado Energy Day is Just Around the Corner

Energy Day is Saturday, September 22 from 11 to 4 at East High School in Denver!!!

But wait, what the heck is Energy Day?

Well, this free family event started in 2011 in Houston to show students just what it meant to have a job in the energy industry. Instead of the book work that students typically think of, we wanted to showcase fun experiments, neat exhibits, and fun ways to look at science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) subjects, much of which is shown through the lens of the latest tech. Since then, Energy Day has become one of the premiere energy-focused family festivals in the nation.

Energy Day offers free fun for the whole family. Featuring interactive lessons and activities that are particularly valuable for K-12 students, families, and educators. Additionally, the festival has music, food, contests, and opportunities to interact with industry experts.

Consumer Energy Education Foundation (CEEF) and Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) serve as the principal organizers of the Energy Day Festival.

If you’ve never been a part of Energy Day – check out last year’s event here:

How To Be a Mentor

Webster defines a mentor as an experienced and trusted adviser. Did/do you have one? Most of us would answer yes. Think about the importance of that person in your life. Now think about how you could be that person to someone else.

Some may think they are not qualified to be a mentor, but trust me, you are. And you are needed! Mentors can be different things to different people; it’s about creating relationships, and we can all do that.

Texas Girls Collaborative Project has partnered with Nepris and others to create a site for people to come together for STEM volunteering purposes (think match.com for STEM). Check out Texas STEM Connections to see how easy it is to get involved and change a young person’s life!

Students Can Change the World!

At CEEF, we want to empower students to change the world through STEM, and we need your help! We want to motivate and inspire students like these.


As part of a Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition, students from Denton, Texas came up with a solution for people displaced by a natural disaster.

Robert Garcia, from Denton Independent School District (ISD), and Charla Marchuk, from FEMA Region 6,
presented in person about a K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Collaboration, along with
two of Mr. Garcia’s students. Their interest lies in further integrating STEM and Geographical Information Systems
(GIS) into the practice of emergency management. Mr. Garcia’s students were initially involved in a project partnership with Samsung to create the Critical Adaptable Shelter for Assistance (CASA) de Samsung, a short-term shelter to be used in disaster relief. To create such shelter, they reached out to local meteorologists, the American Red Cross, FEMA, and an architect. Importantly, the students designed the shelter to fit the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for the elderly and disabled, who are often the most vulnerable after disasters.

The Importance of a Mentor

Each year as part of our Energy Day Academic Program (EDAP), we award students for their accomplishments in STEM. What will our future look like without these students? Many students never even attempt to enter these competitions because they don’t know where to begin. These students will greatly impact our future, so we need to invest in them now.

We’ve all heard famous people thank their mentors, and most of us can certainly remember at least one person in our lives who inspired us to take a chosen path in life. But have you ever considered being someone else’s mentor? Before you start objecting that you can’t, I am only too aware that this may seem a daunting task, what with the responsibility and the time required. But just for a minute or two, think about the alternative. What if no one sacrificed his or her time to be a mentor?

I have often wondered what my life would be like if I’d had a mentor from a STEM field because you see, I am a classic story of what happens when one doesn’t have a mentor.

I have always been good at Math and Science. During high school, my interest in chemistry and physics was sparked. While taking chemistry, we had a (female) engineer from Dow Chemical come talk to us, and after listening to her, I knew I wanted to be a chemical engineer. The next year I took physics, and I fell in love. I loved making things; I loved tinkering and figuring out what made things work. I loved the application of mathematics; finally there was something to apply it to! I decided then to attend Texas A&M and get a degree in Engineering.

My first year there, I took all of the necessary math, science, and engineering courses. While they were not easy, and they were taught very differently (as boring lecture classes) than the classes I loved in high school, I wasn’t actually discouraged by this. I wasn’t even discouraged by the fact that I was probably one of only three females in my classes. In fact, strangely enough, I never even thought about that until later in life when it was brought to my attention. None of these things bothered me, yet I did not pursue an engineering degree. Why?

I have a very outgoing personality; I’m extremely social, and I like to talk. In fact, apparently I was so social that it made some of my classmates uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that I was repeatedly told “Shut up; you talk too much”. That in and of itself, however, is not what discouraged me. What really changed my decision was this: I imagined that since so many of my classmates expressed this to me, most engineers probably felt this way, and I didn’t want to pursue a job in an environment that felt obstructive to me rather than constructive. So I changed my major…to Psychology.

Looking back, I honestly believe that if I’d had a mentor, someone to guide me and talk about these things with me, that maybe I wouldn’t have changed my path. Being a mentor is sometimes just about being a face and a personality that students can connect with an industry or a job. We need to break down the stereotypes and show students all of the different kinds of people and jobs that make up STEM industries.

Will you change the perception? Will you be a mentor? Make a difference now!