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Solar Decathlon Pathways banner image. Blake Boyles (left) speaks to students from Bell Gardens High School in the kitchen of California State University, Sacramento, at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California, Oct. 15, 2015.

Solar Decathlon Pathways

Solar Decathlon Pathways Logo

Solar Decathlon Pathways (SD Pathways) will launch in fall 2022 to expand the mission of Solar Decathlon to younger students.

  • In its pilot year (fall 2022 to spring 2023), SD Pathways will connect Solar Decathlon alumni with high school classrooms and academic groups across the United States for career talks exploring pathways to clean energy professions.
  • Alumni will share their personal pathways to careers in the buildings industry and/or renewable energy to inspire the next generation to join the clean energy workforce.
  • Students and teachers will gain awareness about the many paths to a STEM career.

Are you a Solar Decathlon alum looking to inspire students? Are you an educator interested in helping your students learn about pathways to the clean energy workforce? Sign up using the interest form below!

SD Pathways Interest Form

Program Structure

SD Pathways will match interested high school academic groups, including clubs and classrooms, with Solar Decathlon alumni for one-time career-talk visits, either in person or virtually.

  • Solar Decathlon alumni will receive a short training to gain familiarity on working with high school students, as well as a $75 stipend for each high school group they talk with.
    • Presentation slides and guidance will be provided ahead of time.
    • In-person visits will depend on the location of both the academic group and the alum.
  • Educators will gain a lesson plan that aligns with curriculum standards and introduces students to the clean energy workforce via Career Technical Education (CTE) and traditional four-year college routes. SD Pathways aligns with career options from the following career clusters: Architecture & Construction, Information Technology, Manufacturing, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).

SD Pathways looks to support all future clean energy workforce participants and educators by prioritizing schools in traditionally underserved communities across the country.

Want to get involved? Fill out the Pathways Interest Form! Email the team at SDPathways@nrel.gov with any questions.