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Energy Institute, Houston, TX

Energy Institute was modeled after a high-tech corporate environment that integrates energy into the whole school. Devoted to preparing students for careers in energy, each year students have a class period in one of three pathways: geosciences, alternative energy, and offshore technology. What began as a response to the lack of students entering the energy field in Houston, TX has since morphed into a project-based learning campus where the curriculum is taught entirely in projects. Daily, students learn by doing, investigating, and by problem solving. They have recently partnered with a local maker space TXR, to provide extra programming for students. When students transition from Energy Institute to their postsecondary opportunities, learners understand essential skills such as adaptability, collaboration across diverse groups and thinking and how to navigate real world learning experiences. Their goal is “to graduate a different kind of kid in a very different type of building.”

School Type


School Context



  • Outcomes: Pre-AP/AP; SAT/ACT; Senior Engineering Capstone Project; Senior Internship Program
  • Learner Experience: Project-based learning; STEM focused; Merged project content across the core; Makerspace
  • Competency & Credentialing: STEM-focused; High Quality Project-Based Learning; Culture of exhibition
  • Wellness: NAMI partnership; Make It Work student-led club; Local university counselor interns; Cohort culture; PBL Skills Strand of courses
  • Equity: Community partnerships; Full magnet school; Advisory board
  • Professional Learning: Buck Institute for Education; PBL World; PBL coaching team and cohort leaders; South by Southwest (SxSW) conference
  • Strategy: Framework for High Quality Project-Based Learning
  • Partnerships: BP; Chevron; PESA; IPAA; Southwestern Energy, DiscoverU; Lyondell Basell; Noble Energy; Friends of Energy Advisory Board
  • Technology: Solid Works Certification; OSHA Certification; AutoCad; VEX; FRC; MIT Invent Team

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