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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the winners of the inaugural Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Clean Energy Education Prize Inspire Track.

The winning HBCU teams will each receive $40,000 to support the development or enhancement of clean energy-focused summer programs for K-12 and community college students.

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This prize supports President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to direct 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities by building a diverse STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) pipeline to support America’s clean energy future.

Ten HBCU teams have been selected, including Florida A&M University, Southern University and A&M College, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Xavier University of Louisiana.

The HBCU Clean Energy Education Prize, which is part of DOE’s American-Made Challenges, comprises the Inspire Track and the Partnerships Track, both designed to support HBCUs in developing clean energy-focused programs for students.

The Partnerships Track challenges HBCUs to build partnerships with other universities, organizations, and industry leaders to expand curriculum and resources for students.

This track consists of three phases with a total prize pool of $6.75 million, and Phase 1 submissions are due on December 19, 2023. The Inspire Track is the first of two phases of winners, and the Partnerships Track is currently accepting submissions for Phase 1.

The Inspire Track winners have demonstrated their commitment to inspiring students to engage with and pursue careers in clean energy fields.

These partnerships will result in advanced clean energy programming and professional opportunities to better equip HBCU students with the skills needed to succeed in clean energy careers.

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Senior Advisor for Diversity and STEM, Terrence Mosley, expressed excitement about the winning teams, adding that he looks forward to seeing how their projects progress in the next phase of this track, as well as their programs’ impact on the future generation of clean energy leaders.

Resources are available to support HBCUs interested in competing for this prize, including an informational webinar recording, a list of organizations interested in partnering with HBCUs, and a webinar to introduce interested partners and give HBCUs a chance to learn more about the opportunities they offer.

The Resource Partners Webinar is scheduled for this afternoon at noon ET, and a recording will be available on the official prize page for those unable to participate.

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