Audubon Center of the North Woods to Host Will Steger Foundation’s “Summer Institute for Energy Education”


Sandstone, MN — (SBWIRE) — 07/10/2014 — This summer, the Will Steger Foundation is once again hosting its annual Summer Institute for Energy Education at the Audubon Center of the North Woods near Sandstone, MN.

Held August 4-6, 2014, this is the Midwest’s climate change education event of the year for formal and non-formal educators of K12 students in grades 3-12 to connect with educators who care about quality teaching and who want to bring climate change and energy concepts to their educational setting. 

With the help of expert guest scientists and educators, hands-on engaging activities and a beautiful setting at the Audubon Center of the North Woods, a model renewable energy demonstration site, the 2014 Summer Institute for Climate and Energy Education will provide educators with

– Important climate change and energy concepts

– Confidence to share these concepts

– Awareness of the standards (including Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core) that support climate change and energy concepts

- Skills to make learning experiential and to take students outside

– A framework for effective place based climate change and energy education

Designed to be affordable to teachers, the all-inclusive cost for the entire event is just $130. Included in the cost of the event are 2 nights lodging, all meals, training, materials and much more. 20 CEUs will be awarded and 2 Graduate Credits are also available through Hamline University at additional cost and with a brief reflection paper.

The Institute opens on Monday evening with a wonderful ‘Dinner at the Lake’ featuring music by cellist Daniel Crawford, a composer, educator and student at the University of Minnesota who will be performing his renowned piece “Song for a Warming Planet”.

Monday’s dinner will be followed by keynote speaker Dr. Dr. John Abraham, Professor of Thermal Sciences at the University of St. Thomas where he researches in climate monitoring and renewable energy generation for the developing world. His energy development work has extended to Africa, South America, and Asia.

(The Dinner at the Lake on Monday, August 4th is also open to public attendance – reservations required; 888-404-7743). 

This year’s Institute will also feature the following special guest speakers and facilitators

– Mary Spivey, U of MN Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

- Larry Weber, Local Author and Naturalist

- Paul Thompson, CoFounder, Cool Planet

- Asia Ward, Director of Training and Outreach, KidWind

– Bryan Wood, Executive Director, Audubon Center of the North Woods

– Lester Shen, Phd., Director of Innovative Technologies, Center for Energy & Environment

Participants will leave this summer’s Institute revitalized, inspired, and with new resources including a copy of the Minnesota’s Changing Climate or Experience Energy curriculum and accompanying resources.

Here’s a sampling of what last year’s Institute participants had to say: 

“Thanks for a wonderful training…I was opened to new info. I was surrounded by people passionate about science. I am leaving motivated to do more about science and outdoor learning. The food was amazing.” – An Institute participant in 2013

“A HUGE thank you for this experience. It was amazing and inspiring, and I can’t believe it was so affordable.” – An Institute participant in 2013

For more information, agenda, keynote and guest bios, or to register online, visit https://www.climategen.orgsummer-institute.

About the Audubon Center of the North Woods
The Audubon Center of the North Woods (ACNW) is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 residential environmental learning center and conference & retreat center on the shores of Grindstone Lake in east-central Minnesota. A proud leader in environmental education and renewable energy, ACNW is committed to providing lifelong learning experiences to people of all ages and has been providing environmental and outdoor education programs since 1971.
We ‘walk the walk’ in demonstrating environmental stewardship and have implemented a wide variety of renewable energy sources and energy conservation measures. Our focus is on developing an understanding, ethics and responsibility regarding the environment and the role of humans through formal and informal experiences that link nature and humans. 

Our mission To instill a connection and commitment to the environment in people of all communities through experiential learning.

For more information about the Audubon Center of the North Woods, visit

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