‘NextGen’ Initiative: Exposing Students to Waterpower

Support the Next Generation of the Waterpower Workforce!

Did you know? Close to one-fifth of the energy workforce is 55 year old or older and are eligible to retire in the next decade, per the U.S. Energy & Employment Jobs Report.

The waterpower community desperately needs to recruit a wide array of bright and talented minds to form the next generation of workers.

Exposing students to opportunities in the waterpower industry and creating a clear path for them to consider joining the waterpower workforce is a critical mission. This year’s Waterpower Week provides a unique forum for students — both high schoolers and university students – to:

  • Learn about conventional hydro and marine energy technologies
  • Be exposed to potential career opportunities in this industry
  • Get excited about being a part of creating a clean energy future

What’s more, we are creating opportunities for attendees of Waterpower Week to interact with these students – who could be the next generation of workers in the waterpower industry. Two activities occur at the Capital Hilton Hotel during Waterpower Week:

High School Student Event

On Sunday, May 7, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project and KidWind are holding a day-long (9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) event for high school students in the Washington, D.C., area.

Students will:

  • Compete in fun hands-on challenges.
  • Listen to presentations by university students participating in the Collegiate Competitions
  • Be exposed to various universities
  • Learn about the waterpower industry

How Waterpower Week Attendees Can Interact with High School Students

Waterpower Week attendees are encouraged to take time on Sunday to check out the event and watch the high school students in action!

Simply popping in on Sunday to informally observe the activity at a time convenient for you and meet the students will go a long way in planting seeds with the next generation of the workforce.

Collegiate Competitions: Meet the Future Leaders of the Clean Energy Workforce

From Sunday, May 7, through Tuesday, May 9, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is holding the culmination of its annual Collegiate Competitions – and you’re invited to experience the competitions, meet the competing teams, and celebrate the competition winners.

Twenty-nine teams of undergraduate and graduate students participating in the Hydropower Collegiate Competition and Marine Energy Collegiate Competition will showcase their work addressing complex clean energy challenges.

By participating in these competitions, students from throughout the United States—and even the world—are building the skills, experience, and professional relationships to help them find jobs in conventional hydropower or marine energy.

How Waterpower Week Attendees Can Interact with University Students

All competition activities – technical presentations, community connections presentations, and poster displays — are open to Waterpower Week attendees.

Please plan your week to observe these activities and meet the students.

  • Meet and converse with students to help them visualize their own career path in waterpower.
  • Pop in during the students’ Community Creations and Connections presentations in the South American room on Monday, May 8, and Tuesday morning, May 9.
  • Stop by “Poster Row” on the 2nd floor of the Capital Hilton Hotel (in the main hallway) from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, to see the teams’ poster displays and learn about their work.
  • Join in the celebration when the winners of the competitions are announced at the Tuesday, May 9, Plenary Session at 2:00 p.m.

Participating Universities

Multi-disciplinary teams from these schools will be at Waterpower Week. Is your alma mater listed below? If so, please email joseph@hydro.org, and we’ll connect you ahead of time to the team at your university.

Marine Energy Collegiate Competition
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • California State University Fresno
  • California State University San Marcos
  • Cornell University
  • Instituto Superior Tecnico
  • Manhattan College
  • Michigan Technical University
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • Oakland University
  • Oregon State University
  • Purdue University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of California Merced
  • University of California Riverside
  • University of Houston
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • University of Michigan
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of North Carolina
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
  • Webb Institute

More information about the MECC Competition can be found here

Hydropower Collegiate Competition
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Endicott College
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Houston
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Yale University

More information about the HCC competition can be found here.

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) Involved in Student Outreach and Education

What is the Hydropower Foundation?

The Hydropower Foundation is dedicated to ensuring hydropower’s sustainable contribution to a clean energy future through research and development of hydropower as a clean and beneficial renewable resource. Funded by contracts, grants, events, industry sponsorships, and memberships, the Foundation actively engages and serves the clean energy industry by supporting work in education, research, and workforce development.

Many of the Foundation’s projects and programs include the participation of post-secondary educators and student researchers. The Foundation strives to maintain strong connections with academia at the university, community college and trades level in various disciplines.

What is NEED?

The NEED Project designs and delivers teacher-tested educational materials, evaluation techniques and tools, recognition of student achievement, and professional development for educators. NEED materials and training programs provide comprehensive, objective information about the scientific concepts of energy and the sources of energy – their use and their impact on the environment, the economy, and society.

What is KidWind?

As the world is increasingly powered by renewable energy, it is more critical than ever to develop a workforce and public who understand the complexities of this power generation. The KidWind Project, an international leader in renewable energy education, has been working with educators to integrate clean energy into classrooms for nearly 20 years. Through materials development, teacher training, and student-driven challenges, we meet educators where they are at and help them explore and deliver engaging, meaningful, and timely content in this rapidly evolving space.

National Hydropower Assocation

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