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Fifth grade students make slime at NETL “hands-on stations.”
Continuing NETL’s Mission Through STEM Outreach

Director’s Corner

by Brian Anderson, Ph.D.

NETL is home to world-class facilities and leading-edge laboratories, but our greatest asset by far is the talented team of researchers and professionals who drive our mission forward and advance technology solutions to address the nation’s energy challenges. An important part of that mission is fostering the next-generation of STEM professionals, from sparks of inspiration to hands-on training in the lab. 

NETL is committed to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and supports all levels of learning through its K–12 programs, college and university programs, and teacher and community programs. 

In a typical year, our outreach teams are hard at work representing NETL at career fairs and other educational events, as well as visiting regional schools and presenting in-person hands-on, minds-on activities that demonstrate a wide range of science principles. This year, as we continue to work through challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, our outreach teams adapted to virtual presentations and programs that offer information and deliver engaging activities in a safe environment. Our education outreach teams remain dedicated to encouraging and inspiring the next generation of STEM innovators and experts, and I’m proud to highlight their work.   

Throughout February, NETL is featuring our STEM education and outreach work. Check out our website to read more about: 

  • NETL researcher Ranjani Siriwardane, who is leading scientific advancement in clean and affordable electricity and mentoring future researchers through internship programs and tutoring. 
  • Fun activities for budding engineers that students can do at home to discover STEM and build critical thinking skills.  
  • NETL’s work to adapt programs and activities to a virtual event, including career fairs, science expos, Science Bowl competitions and more. 

I also encourage educators, students and parents to visit our website and learn more about internship opportunities and STEM education and outreach. No matter where you are in your education, your STEM journey can start with NETL.