Project Zero®

Oregon students want to play a part in fighting the climate crisis. We’re here to help them do just that.

Why Project Zero®? Why now?

Young people are demanding change. Project Zero® is our answer to that call. This multifaceted, award-winning initiative is PGE’s commitment to engaging the next generation in climate science learning, clean energy solutions, and the green jobs of tomorrow.

Project Zero®

Funded in part by the PGE Foundation, Project Zero® is focused on three impact areas:

Educating youth

Teaming up with Portland Public Schools to develop comprehensive K-12 open-source climate literacy curriculum and offering free online and in-school learning experiences.

Environmental stewardship

Investing in enhancing parks and greenspaces and improving air quality in neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by climate change.

Workforce development

Young adults disconnected from work and school benefit from Project Zero’s green job internships with selected community partners.

Educating youth

PGE teamed up with Portland Public Schools (PPS) PGE in 2020 to announce a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive, K-12 open-source climate literacy curriculum.

Additionally, PGE partners with local education organizations like In4All, the Oregon Zoo, Mad Science and Dark Horse Comics to create hands-on science learning opportunities both in and outside the classroom.

Kids’ safety education

Show your kids how to use electricity safely and check out our free electricity education resources for families and teachers.

Learning from home

We offer variety of environmental activities and lesson plans and videos for students of all ages to keep students learning.

PGE employees in the classroom

We’ve joined forces with In4All as a way for PGE employees to engage students in hands-on STEM learning, building their identity as STEM thinkers and problem solvers and innovators of the future.   

“My experience in the Climate Justice elective at McDaniel high school played an integral part in how I see environmental activism. Tackling the structural inequities and tragedies of climate change is not the work of any one person or even a single group of people, and it is essential that students receive adequate education and resources. I am grateful for the teachers’ and district’s efforts to create a safe space for students to connect with peers about our diverse range of experiences with the climate crisis. On a personal level, it was a great inspiration to the work in environmental and social justice that I hope to continue long into my career.”
– Rae Blackbird, McDaniel High School graduate, Portland Public Schools
Workforce development

Become a Project Zero® intern

Project Zero® is recruiting 2024 interns! We’re looking for young adults ages 19 to 24, not currently enrolled in school and/or disconnected from a meaningful career pathway, who are seeking ways to create cleaner, greener communities.

Interns in the Portland Metro area spend six months working with stewardship and environmental justice organizations including:

In addition to gaining work experience, interns receive professional development coaching and learn about potential employment opportunities at our Destination Employer partners, such as COR Disposal and Recycling PGEDeSantis Landscape PGE or Imagine Energy PGE.

Interested? Please contact Taaj Armstrong for additional information.

Host a Project Zero® intern or become a Destination Employer

Are you a community organization focused on conservation, stewardship or environmental justice? Do you want to help prepare young adults for the green jobs of tomorrow? Contact Melissa Dubois to learn more about hosting an intern at your organization or becoming a destination employer. Sign the destination employer pledge  PGEif you’re ready to join the Project Zero® family.

Environmental stewardship

Climate change hits some communities harder than others. Project Zero® invests in enhancing parks, greenspaces and air quality in neighborhoods disproportionately experiencing the negative health and environmental impacts of climate change. PGE is proud to advance these efforts alongside our longstanding partners, like SOLVE and Friends of Trees.

Project Zero interns give back

In 2021, the second group of Project Zero interns began an intensive six-month internship with community-based environmental organizations, doing purpose-driven work.

"It is a fantastic idea to join Project Zero and go through one of the internships. You get a lot of exposure to a bunch of different potential career fields. During my time with Project Zero, I learned about wastewater management; and I’m looking to get more involved in that field. I get to spend a lot of time out in green spaces and I’m doing work that positively impacts the local community. It gives me a lot of fulfillment and pride that I get to be involved in this kind of work".

– Ellie Taylor, PGE Project Zero intern with Play Grow Learn

Could you be an Agent of Project Zero®?

Meet the “Climate Keepers," a crew of young heroes who learn about environmental threats to their community and fight pollution together.

This educational comic book is designed to help young people, grades 4-8, better understand the effects of climate change and explore ways to make a positive impact.

"The kids were so excited to get the comic books! They asked for our autographs at the end of class. (It was adorbs)."

- Amy da Silva, PGE employee volunteer at Bridger Elementary in NE Portland.

Visit the Agents of Project Zero® Climate Keepers site PGE to download the comic in English or Spanish and to find teaching resources and student activities related to climate change, environmental science and electrical safety.