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Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education

Carrie Fox, X PRIZE Foundation

The United States Department of Energy, the X PRIZE Foundation and Discovery Education Create Dynamic, Online Destination to Advance STEM Education engages students in science and math education through the exciting Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Competition

Silver Spring, Md. (March 23, 2009) – Igniting imaginations and fueling student curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and math topics, the United States Department of Energy, the X PRIZE Foundation and Discovery Education have created, a new dynamic, online knowledge center inspired by the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE.

Introduced to educators during an interactive workshop presented at the National Science Teachers Association’s National Conference in New Orleans, La., is an empowering resource that engages students in the science of alternative fuels and energy-efficient engineering. Featuring targeted curriculum and lesson plans for all grade levels, as well as high-quality video, dynamic interactives and additional resources from the United States Department of Energy, teachers can use the online knowledge center to achieve their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) goals.

The goal of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices. A ten million dollar prize purse will be split between teams that win a stage competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 Mile Per Gallon equivalent fuel economy (MPGe). serves as an interactive online portal offering stimulating STEM lessons and resources for students, teachers and families as the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition unfolds.

Together, parents and students can explore a variety of grade appropriate STEM topics through a number of exciting activities. K-2 students will be challenged to find out what makes cars go, while students in grades 3-5 will focus on building the skills needed to learn about force and motion and efficient energy transfer within a vehicle. Students in grades 6-8 will investigate fuel efficiency and develop a futuristic, energy efficient vehicle, and high school students will be tasked with analyzing patterns in mass transit issues.

According to Discovery Education Director of Curriculum William McDonald, each grade- specific curriculum is designed to advance the STEM achievement goals of educators. “The online knowledge center’s resources challenge students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math in a relevant and grade appropriate fashion,” said McDonald. “The Progressive Automotive X PRIZE is a compelling tool with which to engage students in STEM education, and we’ve designed the accompanying curriculum modules to help teachers take full advantage of students’ interest in this exciting competition.”

“The Department’s collaboration with the Automotive X PRIZE and Discovery Education leverages private sector expertise to educate and engage the public about technologies to transform our transportation sector,” said David E. Rodgers, Director for Strategic Planning and Analysis at the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Together, we can inspire all Americans – including teachers, students, vehicle designers, and drivers – to join us in designing and operating a new generation of vehicles that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Visit the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Online Knowledge Center at For more information about Discovery Education, visit or call 800-323-9084.

About the U.S. Department of Energy
Working with a wide array of state, community, industry, and university partners, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in a diverse portfolio of energy technologies. Energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy will mean a stronger economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy independence for America. For more information about the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy please contact the EERE Information Center at 1-877-EERE-INF (1-877-337-3463) or on the web at

About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Educat ion. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at

About the X PRIZE Foundation
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. In 2004, the Foundation captured the world’s attention when the Burt Rutan-led team, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private spaceship to win the $10 million dollar Ansari X PRIZE for suborbital spaceflight. The Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation, with the support of its partner BT Global Services, is creating prizes in Space and Ocean Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy and Environment, Education and Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as a leader in fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit