Washington STEM Educator Solar Institute

Solar Institute Class of 2017

Program Summary

Learn how to teach solar principles in effective, engaging ways in your classroom! Local STEM teachers can join us at Shoreline Community College for the Washington STEM Educator Solar Institute. Learn to install and commission a residential size solar photovoltaic array. You’ll perform hands-on classroom lab activities that will enable you to bring solar energy to life in your classroom.

When: August 11-13, 2020

Where: Hosted by Shoreline Community College

Cost: FREE for 20 selected nominees; each participant will receive a $300 stipend upon completion of the institute


The Solar Institute is great because it’s taught me concepts I can easily bring back into the classroom and use to engage and foster my students’ interest in green energy.

—Craig Patterson, past participant


  • Three days of interactive, high-engagement instruction in cutting-edge solar technology
  • $300 stipend paid upon completion of the institute
  • Lesson plans, videos, and teaching resources to keep
  • Expert instructors nationally recognized in renewable energy curriculum

  • STEM Integration Clock hours available
  • Breakfast and lunch each day

Highlights from Past Institute

Teachers go green at the Washington STEM Educator Solar Institute

Institute Objectives

  1. Participants will become familiar with solar photovoltaic technology by working with PV technology and installing a PV system.
  2. From their Institute laboratory experiences, participants will develop at least one solar PV laboratory lesson for use in their classroom during the 2020-21 school year.
  3. Following the Institute, participants will provide meaningful feedback on their experiences teaching solar PV concepts and lessons from ideas and materials developed at the Institute.
  4. While at the Institute, participants will discuss and share their unique previous experiences in teaching about energy, renewable energy, and solar photovoltaic energy.
  5. Participants will develop supportive educational relationships among participants with whom they share similar educational circumstances or interests.


This program is designed for 20 middle school or high school instructors in science, technology, engineering, math, or career/technical training fields. Applicants should complete the online application form by the priority deadline, May 5, 2020; late applications may be considered if space is still available on a rolling basis.

Application Process

The application includes biographic information and 3 short-answer essays about your interest or experience with solar. Selection will be based on how well participants will be able to fulfill the institute objectives, including utilizing institute lesson plans into your future curriculum.

Priority application deadline: May 5, 2020; late applications considered if space available on a rolling basis.


Expert Instructors

Louise Petruzzella, facilitator

  • Director of Clean Energy Technology, Shoreline Community College
  • Principal Investigator, Clean Tech ATE: Advancing Technician Training in Clean Energy Technology project funded by the National Science Foundation

Joel Shoemaker

  • Electrical Apprentice and Renewable Energy Instructor, Madison College
  • 12+ years’ experience with photovoltaic systems, certified Master Electrician

Ken Walz

  • Chemistry, Engineering, and Renewable Energy Instructor, Madison College
  • Director, Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education


This material is supported by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Program under Grant #1665227. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Contact Us

Clean Energy Technology

Louise Petruzzella, Program Director
(206) 533-6729