Argonne National Laboratory

Seminar Series
"Science is not only a disciple of reason, but also one of romance and passion." - Stephen Hawking

Engineering our Energy Future

You are invited to attend three Argonne seminars that explore the current status and future of the electric grid. Scientist talks, discussions and activities will translate new knowledge and concepts into teaching practice. Through the research and practices of Argonne scientists, you will enhance your understand fundamental scientific principles. The series is designed around high school PEs and DCIs.


A vibrant economy relies on a constant supply of clean inexpensive energy. The electric grid has been our general purpose energy provider for the last 100 years. It’s running today on 80-year old architecture, doing its best to support countless new devices and emerging technologies that did not exist 20 years ago.

Our future production will need to come from many sources – more from the cleaner intermittent renewables and less from the combustion of baseline fossil fuels. Blending these sources into a seamless precise flow will require new technology and the capability to shift or hold energy over a 12-24 hour period.

In addition to being self-regulating, the grid must be secure against physical and cyber-attacks (hacking) and be able to restart itself from natural disasters and solar flares from the sun. It needs to be far more flexible, more efficient, and SMARTER than it is today. It’s up to the current and next generation of STEM professionals, your students, to make it so!

Program Features

Each 2.5 hour seminar:

  • Features an anchoring phenomena,
  • Taps the pre-knowledge of teachers and addresses misconceptions,
  • Includes two scientist talks,
  • Provides content-deepening for related teaching topics and principles. Topics are also linked to NGSS alignments (high school PEs, DCIs and Practices).

The three-part seminar series will cover these interrelated topics on separate evenings:

  • The Science of the Grid – March 8, 2017
  • Upgrading to the Smart Grid – March 15, 2017
  • The Challenges of Energy Storage – March 22, 2017
  • Weather Date- March 29, 2017


One registration covers all the seminars you select (up to three). Each participant must hold a valid Illinois teaching certificate. Participants must be a US citizens or a permanent resident alien (requires completion of a 593 form). Participants will require valid photo IDs, and in some cases, other items to gain laboratory access.


  • Seminars will be offered at Argonne’s site at 9700 S. Cass Ave, Lemont, IL 60439.
  • The time frame will be Wednesday evenings, 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM.
  • Cost is FREE to classroom teachers and curriculum support staff.
  • PDCH certification units will be available.

Application Requirements

Each participant must:

  • hold a valid Illinois teaching certificate
  • be a US citizen or a permanent resident alien (requires completion of a 593 form)
  • have a valid photo ID, and in some cases, other items to gain laboratory access