UMD "Energy 101" Course Featured on DOE Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has featured a University of Maryland (UMD) course on its blog. The course, titled Designing a Sustainable World (BioE 289A), was designed by Clark School Professor Leigh Abts (Fischell Department of Bioengineering/College of Education) and is part of an interdisciplinary curriculum called “Energy 101.” The curriculum was developed by UMD, the DOE, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the Environment and Energy Study Institute, and it serves as a national model that universities can use to teach students fundamental energy principles and help them address current challenges.

This spring, undergraduates enrolled in the pilot class were given the task of developing concept inventions that address sustainability issues. Examples of student projects included a “green gym” where electricity is generated by people using gym equipment and a tablet system that allows students to complete and turn in their assignments digitally. Such projects show students the complexity of energy problems and encourage them to think through their decisions and develop original solutions.

After the success of the pilot class, UMD has decided to offer it again next spring, possibly increasing its enrollment to 200 students. Harford Community College in Bel Air, Md., has also shown interest in the new curriculum and has recently received approval to teach a course based on the Energy 101 framework.

For more information on the Energy 101 curriculum, please visit the website at:

Published August 21, 2013