Teachers Seminar

Lignite Education Seminar:
Energy, Economics and Environment

June 14-17, 2021


General Information:

On June 14 – 17, 2021, the Lignite Energy Council will conduct an education seminar for approximately 75* elementary and secondary teachers from Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. The seminar was totally revamped in 2009 and made into a two-credit class which lasts for four days. Participants can receive credit from the University of North Dakota (Teaching & Learning) North Dakota State University (Education), or Minot State University (Science). Educators who have taken the course in the past are eligible to apply and attend again (some restrictions apply).

The seminar, which will be held at Bismarck State College, Bismarck, ND, will provide teachers with the information and educational materials they need to teach their students about how lignite is mined and used to produce electricity for homes, farms and businesses in the Upper Midwest. In addition, the seminar covers lignite’s economic impact on the region, as well as important environmental issues affecting the lignite industry.

Since 1986, more than 3,400 teachers have attended the Lignite Energy Council’s teacher education seminar.


The teacher education seminar is sponsored by the Lignite Energy Council, in cooperation with Bismarck State College, The Center for Economic Education at the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University and Minot State University.

Speakers & Tours:

During the seminar, teachers hear presentations by educators, researchers and lignite industry representatives. One day is devoted to touring mining operations, reclamation sites and coal conversion facilities**. Question and answer sessions in the classroom and on the tour give teachers the opportunity to find out what they need to know for their individual classroom needs.

Professional Development Credit:

Two graduate professional development credits are available through the Center for Economic Education at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND or Minot State University, Minot, ND. To receive the credits, teachers must attend all portions of the seminar and prepare lesson plans demonstrating how they will use the seminar information and materials in their classrooms.

Materials Available:

Teachers attending the seminar will receive lecture outlines on each presentation, examples of lesson plans, classroom exercises, coal and ash samples, audiovisual materials, and information on the facilities they tour. In addition, they also receive resource guides listing publications and audiovisual materials available for energy education.

Lodging, Meals & Transportation:

Free lodging is provided in a Bismarck State College dormitory (two people per room). Meals will be provided. Also, transportation will be provided by the Lignite Energy Council for the tour of a mine and power plant if tours are able to take place.


* The Lignite Energy Council has elected to limit the number of teacher participants in light of COVID concerns and restrictions. 

** Tours may not be able to be offered in 2021


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