Summer 2016
Gifts at Work

Energy and U

Elementary school kids may come to Energy and U—an outreach program of the College of Science and Engineering—for the explosions, flames, and rock music that gets everyone dancing, but they leave with new knowledge and enthusiasm about science and theater.

Philanthropic support is behind every aspect of the program, setting the stage for a remarkable experience.

Click on the numbers below to learn more.

Photography by Steve Niedorf


In 2016, more than 13,400 kids had a blast at 34 Energy and U performances. Donors like Medtronic, 3M, and Schlumberger help offset busing costs and other expenses so that kids from underserved populations are able to attend. Watch a short video about Energy and U.


Capturing the moment on film is Energy and U crew member William Erickson, recipient of a Stevens Brothers Foundation scholarship, who’s studying theater design and technology. Energy and U takes place at the U of M's Whiting Proscenium Theater in Rarig Center.


Fellowship and scholarship support gives senior Stephanie Hart and graduate student Jeff Ting extra time to assist with the performances—and share their love of science with the next generation.


An enthusiastic elementary school student lights a hydrogen-filled balloon with the help of Christy Haynes, Elmore H. Northey Pro-fessor of Chemistry, while children in the audience scream and cheer.


“The explosions bring fun to the show, but there’s a message behind them as well,” says David Blank, Energy and U director and 3M-Alumni Distinguished Professor.