Solar One’s CareerCLUE is a unique summer youth employment program that blends for-credit academics, personal development, and engagement in environmental sustainability through career exploration and service learning. The program is based on Solar One’s high school curriculum CleanTech, which explores E-STEM through four units - Energy, Water, Materials Science, and Food. CareerCLUE is co-taught by a Solar One environmental educator and a licensed NYC science teacher. CareerCLUE uses urban environmental education programming to build student knowledge through experiential learning while imparting the mix of skills necessary to thrive in the emerging green careers of the 21st Century.
We award CareerCLUE our second-tier prize for the program’s creative approach to E-STEM career development for young people. Offering students the opportunity to earn pay and academic credit, the program works toward building and expanding pathways to green jobs. We applauded this effort because it gives a chance for learners who need to find summer employment. CareerCLUE is also built on expansive and rigorous E-STEM experiences that engage young people in learning and practicing applied job skills used in the renewable energy field, among others. Students gain experience with diverse areas of potential professional paths, including manual tasks like soldering, digital mapping software, and designing batteries. The program garnered additional praise for its investment in a Spanish-language curriculum, to address the needs of the large Spanish-speaking populations in the schools they work with. Ultimately, judges remarked on CareerCLUE’s creative combination of paid workforce training, personal development, and hands-on skill practice.