Increasing Diversity in Energy Efficiency Professions: JUMP into STEM

Mary Hubbard, Thien-Kim Trenbath, Melissa Lapsa, Roderick Jackson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


A long-term approach to achieving equity in the energy efficiency industry is to increase the overall diversity of the professionals who work in the field. Building science professionals have a direct impact on energy efficiency policy and programs, as many become leaders within the industry. Buildings are used every day by almost all members of U.S. society, so diversity in building science professionals is critical to better understanding the behaviors and needs of the full spectrum of building occupants. Many groups of people, including minorities and women, are underrepresented in the industry. The industry needs to attract a wide range of current college and university students to careers in building science, so that many perspectives are included in the clean energy transition. The JUMP into STEM student competition addresses this need by inspiring students from diverse backgrounds to use creative ideation to solve real-world building science problems. Student teams - comprising an interdisciplinary mix of majors and underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) - respond to one of three buildings-related challenges. Diversity is encouraged through challenge design, competition guidelines, and evaluation criteria for the submission. Winners of the competition are awarded paid building science internships, a gateway to a career in this field. The competition has an advisory panel of diversity experts and a professor team that includes representation from minority-serving institutions. This paper presents the JUMP into STEM approach to fostering diversity and creative ideation on technical challenges and discusses outcomes from the 2019 and 2020 competitions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2021
Event2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings -
Duration: 17 Aug 202021 Aug 2020


Conference2020 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Bibliographical note

Available from ACEEE: see

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-77015


  • buildings
  • diversity
  • STEM


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