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Solar Decathlon Educator Resources

National Energy Education Development Logo

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon recommends the following free teacher resources to explore energy, building science, and solar energy in the classroom. The National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) works in partnership with the U.S. Energy Information Agency to provide current energy data in their educational materials. NEED resources are available for free download for classroom and educational use. For more information, and to download additional NEED energy resources, visit You can also find more resources in DOE's STEM Rising Newsletter.


  • Energy Infobooks

    Energy Infobooks contain a range of resources for teachers using NEED activities in the classroom, including a full curriculum, activities, and standards correlation. The following Energy Infobooks cover an introduction to energy, information on major sources of energy, new technologies, energy conservation, electricity, and other energy information.

    Primary Energy Infobook
    Grades: K–2
    Time: 1.5–2.5 hours

    Elementary Energy Infobook
    Grades: 3–5
    Time: 1.5–2.5 hours

    Intermediate Energy Infobook
    Grades: 6–8
    Time: 1.5–2.5 hours

    Secondary Energy Infobook
    Grades: 9–12
    Time: 1.5–2.5 hours

Energy Efficiency

  • Energy House

    Students learn about efficiency, conservation, and economic returns by using various materials to insulate a cardboard house and then test its efficiency.
    Grades: 4–8

  • School Energy Experts

    Intermediate students are introduced to the concepts of energy, energy consumption, conservation and efficiency, and the economic and environmental effects of consuming energy.
    Grades: 6–8

  • Building Science

    Students investigate the science behind keeping building occupants healthy and comfortable and our buildings energy efficient. Hands-on activities and simulations help students to evaluate building performance and their own home energy use.
    Grades: 6–8


  • Energy from the Sun

    Hands-on explorations that allow students to investigate solar energy. Students explore radiant energy transforming into thermal energy, chemical energy, and electricity.
    Grades: 6–8

  • Wonders of the Sun

    Elementary students develop a basic understanding of solar energy through background reading and classroom activities.
    Grades: 3-5

  • Exploring Photovoltaics

    Secondary students learn how solar energy is used to generate electricity. Students are introduced to photovoltaic systems, concentrated solar power, and developing solar technologies. Activities explore how photovoltaic cells work and what variables affect their electrical output.
    Grades: 9–12

  • The Sun and Its Energy

    Primary students are introduced to solar energy with a read-aloud book and classroom-based activities.
    Grades: K-2

  • Schools Going Solar

    Data-driven lessons and activities to support and incorporate installed photovoltaic systems into the classroom learning environment.
    Grades: 6–12