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February 1, 2022 | Julie Wasson | partnerships, products & services, public power
energy education

OPPD, along with partners at the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, has launched a new Energy Education Program for educators across OPPD’s service territory.

This program seeks to get students excited about energy. It will do so by equipping educators with specific training and a free STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) kit.

The hands-on STEM activities will let students work with their peers to learn how energy is part of their everyday lives. The activities align with the Nebraska State Standards for Science.

“With the Energy Education Program, we want to lead the way we power not just the future, but our future: the students of today and customers of tomorrow,” said OPPD Energy Advisor Eric BenSalah. “Banding together with the education community, we can better prepare students for the changes we face in the energy world.”

The project team worked with various school districts in OPPD’s service territory over the past two years to better understand what type of education program would be beneficial for them.

Energy education

  • Program workshops are open to all 3rd to 5th grade teachers and educators in OPPD’s service territory.
  • Teachers will attend an all-day workshop facilitated by NEED and OPPD to prepare them for lessons with the STEM kit. They will receive the kits upon completion.
  • Classroom presentations, hosted by OPPD Energy Advisor Eric BenSalah, include:
    • Windy Wonders: Learn where wind comes from and how we harness it to do work.
    • So Into Solar: Learn how we use energy from the sun.
    • Energy Source Exploration: Learn about the various sources of energy and how they work.
    • Energy Efficiency and Conservation: Learn about energy consumption and how can you reduce the amount of energy you use at home and at school.

 “I always wanted to teach, to mentor and help young kids,” BenSalah said. “It’s an honor and a passion of mine to be able to give back to our community by helping educate our future.”

Get involved

Workshops will begin in February for this semester, and additional workshops are planned summer. Educators interested in participating must register by Feb. 7. To learn more and to register, visit the program page at

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About Julie Wasson

Julie Wasson is the brand journalism strategist at Omaha Public Power District and the editor of The Wire. She has more than 25 years of print journalism and social media experience, including two stints at the Omaha World-Herald.

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