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Innovative Homes, Energy Careers Featured in New Virtual Sessions Offered by Solar Decathlon

Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® has inspired more than 450 collegiate teams and 23,000 students worldwide. In addition to the focus on tomorrow's leaders, the Solar Decathlon has a foundational goal of providing educational programs and opportunities for the general public.

In September 2020, the Solar Decathlon started a new series of 10 virtual sessions with diverse topics ranging from tours of houses with innovative designs to residential energy usage to jobs in the energy sector. Offered at no cost, these webinars are available to the general public and particularly current and prospective homeowners; members of the real estate industry, educators; students and young professionals; home builders and renovation contractors, and others interested in viewing state-of-the-art homes.

During a traditional Solar Decathlon Build Challenge event, thousands would converge on the educational tents to learn more about these topics that were not offered elsewhere. Through these monthly webinars, virtual visitors' can have access to this exclusive content from the comfort of their homes.

Below are additional details on each planned webinar.

Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Winning Team House Tours

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
1-2 p.m. ET

As we kick off this year's Solar Decathlon Competition Event, DOE takes you on a virtual tour of innovative homes designed and built by student teams competing for the Solar Decathlon grand winner title.

Register now.


Past Webinars

Below are links to the recordings for past sessions.

Solar 101 - How Solar Energy Works

Learn how energy from the sun turns into electricity on Earth with speakers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office. Discover exciting ways that solar energy is being used every day to power our lives.

Watch here.

Discovering Clean Energy Careers

The transition to a clean energy economy is changing the way we do our jobs - and creating new ones. Meet people in a variety of careers who are making our buildings and communities more efficient and sustainable. Learn what their jobs are really like and what education and experiences helped them land their roles.

Watch here.

A Virtual Hands-On Energy Workshop for Families

The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project will facilitate a virtual workshop that will explain solar energy to kids and facilitate an activity families can do together. Participants are urged to gather a small cardboard box, dark paper, clear plastic food wrap, aluminum foil, and tape, to design and construct a Solar oven. NEED began as a one-day celebration of energy education when National Energy Education Day was recognized by a Joint Congressional Resolution.

Watch here.

Solar Student Leaders of Tomorrow Showcase

A unique partnership between the Science Museum of Virginia and Secure Futures Solar, called Throwing Solar Shade, casts new light on combining project-based learning with science and rooftop solar power. High school students from urban and rural Virginia schools will present their research projects and findings.

Watch here.

Resilient Home 411: Strategies to Weather and Recover from Natural Disasters

What does resilience mean for a home? A nationally renowned expert shares best practices for leveraging energy efficiency, renewable energy, and good planning to help your home better withstand and bounce back from natural disasters.

Watch here.

Zero Energy Ready Homes: New and Growing Fast

Zero Energy Ready Homes are homes designed to offer a superior homeowner experience. These homes live better, work better, and last longer. The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program combines the best of building science with the latest technologies and systems, innovative building practices, and risk management solutions to offer homeowners complete peace of mind.

Watch here.

Shining a Light on Solar: A Tour of Cutting-Edge Solar Research with the U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office will highlight some of DOE’s research that will shape the future of solar—from enabling farms to harvest energy together with crops, to flexible perovskite solar cells, and community microgrids that can keep the lights on during man-made or natural disasters.

Watch here.


The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The Design Challenge is a one-to-two-semester, design-only competition, while the Build Challenge is a multiyear design-build competition. The most successful teams will complement architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart on-site energy production. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon continues to “push the envelope” on the design of high-performance, efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while promoting student innovation, STEM education, and workforce development opportunities.

Additional details are on the Solar Decathlon website.