Back to School: Feds Tell Teachers To Push Renewable Energy in Class -- Kids Can ‘Save the Planet’

By Penny Starr | August 24, 2015 | 12:29pm EDT

( – Teachers heading back to the classroom will be adding renewable energy to the curriculum to mold future “energy leaders to save the planet,” thanks to a summer training program run by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers.

“By teaching the teacher, events like this one make a powerful impact on public understanding of America’s energy needs,” states a back-to-school announcement posted on the DOE website earlier this month.

“This year’s academy has just graduated a pool of motivated teachers, ready to arm the next generation of energy leaders to save the planet!” said the DOE.

“August means ‘back to school’ for students, but for many teachers it’s a time to apply what they’ve learned over the summer in training and professional development courses,” the announcement said. “The Energy Department teamed up with the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers this year to promote an understanding of renewable energy resources in the classroom.”

“The Energy Innovations and Implications Academy -- a week-long training -- brought together scientists, engineers and experts from the Smithsonian Science Education Center and the Department of Energy,” the announcement states. “These experts shared the latest research, ideas and activities in bioenergy, hydrogen and fuel cells, and geothermal to get teachers and students excited about renewable energy innovation.

“Teachers learned how the technologies work, how they are being used today and how they fit into a clean energy economy,” the announcement states.

The DOE statement links to “energy literacy resources” used to instruct teachers participating in the program and defines an “energy-literate” person as follows:

  • Can trace energy flows and think in terms of energy systems.
  • Knows how much energy they use, for what purpose, and where the energy comes from.
  • Can assess the credibility of information about energy.
  • Can communicate about energy and energy use in meaningful ways.
  • Is able to make informed energy use decisions based on an understanding of impacts and consequences.

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