Energy Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education


Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)



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Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, federal, local, and utility incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.

http://www.dsireusa.org/


California PEAK (Promoting Energy Action & Knowledge): PEAK is an environmental education program designed to empower students with the knowledge to manage energy use in their homes, schools and communities. Through hands-on learning, students are inspired to take action to create a more sustainable world. Explore our website to learn more about PEAK, program resources and our award winning, standards-based curriculum!

http://www.peakstudents.org/default.asp


Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP) was created to promote energy education in Wisconsin. KEEP is the product of an innovative public private partnership between educators and energy professionals. The Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE) launched this effort in 1995. http://www4.uwsp.edu/cnr/wcee/keep/index.htm
Rocky Mountain Institute YouTube videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=UUtMVIFDBDTHbJK8A0HPdNqA
Science in Focus: Energy a video workshop for K-6 science teachers to provide a solid foundation, enabling you to distinguish between the way "energy" is commonly understood and its meaning in science. Examine energy’s role in motion, machines, food, the human body, and the universe as a whole. Learn how energy can be converted from one form to another and transferred over space and time. And explore the notion of "conservation of energy" — the idea that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Course can be taken online for free – eight 1 hour videos. http://www.learner.org/resources/series160.html
MJ Murdock Charitable Trust Partners in Science Program is designed to help high school science teachers work with a mentor doing cutting-edge research over the course of two summers. The purpose of this grant is to bring the knowledge from the research lab back into the high school science classroom, promoting hands-on science education. Eligibility: High school teachers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana or Alaska http://www.murdock-trust.org/grants/partners-science.php
Online Lesson Sites

Khan Academy http://www.khanacademy.org/



Sophia http://www.sophia.org/
TED-Ed http://ed.ted.com/

  • Do the green thing – Andy Hobsbawm (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/do-the-green-thing-andy-hobsbawm): Andy Hobsbawm shares a fresh ad campaign about going green -- and some of the fringe benefits.

  • The secret life of plankton – Tierney Thys (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-secret-life-of-plankton): New videography techniques have opened up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing it to be both mesmerizingly beautiful and astoundingly complex. Marine biologist Tierney Thys teamed with Christian Sardet (CNRS/Tara Oceans), Noé Sardet and Sharif Mirshak to use footage from the Plankton Chronicles project to create a film designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.

  • How Many Lightbulbs? – Neil Payne (http://ed.ted.com/on/MVwtmMV5): A look at sustainable energy and what we use our energy for.

  • How does work…work? – Peter Bohacek (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-does-work-work-peter-bohacek): The concepts of work and power help us unlock and understand many of the physical laws that govern our universe. In this Lesson, Peter Bohacek explores the interplay of each concept when applied to two common objects---a light bulb and a grandfather clock.

  • The simple story of photosynthesis and food – Amanda Ooten (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-simple-but-fascinating-story-of-photosynthesis-and-food-amanda-ooten): Photosynthesis is an essential part of the exchange between humans and plants. Amanda Ooten walks us through the process of photosynthesis, also discussing the relationship between photosynthesis and carbohydrates, starch, and fiber -- and how the air we breathe is related to the food we ingest.

  • The science behind a climate headline – Rachel Pike (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/rachel-pike-the-science-behind-a-climate-headline): In 4 minutes, atmospheric chemist Rachel Pike provides a glimpse of the massive scientific effort behind the bold headlines on climate change, with her team -- one of thousands who contributed -- taking a risky flight over the rainforest in pursuit of data on a key molecule.

  • The Secret to Rising Sea Levels – Thermal Expansion – ASAP Science (http://ed.ted.com/on/3KsJMLba): Of the many environmental impacts imposed by climate change, rising sea levels are often discussed. The cause of this may not be as obvious as it seems. While a portion of the increase comes from the likes of melting glaciers, another more surprising phenomenon helps to explain the increase in water volume: Thermal Expansion. Check out AsapSCIENCE's video explaining this natural phenomenon.

  • The carbon cycle – Nathaniel Manning (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-carbon-cycle-nathaniel-manning): What exactly is the carbon cycle? Nathaniel Manning provides a basic look into the cyclical relationship of carbon, humans and the environment.

  • A new ecosystem for electric cars – Shai Agassi (http://ed.ted.com/lessons/a-new-ecosystem-for-electric-cars-shai-agassi): Forget about the hybrid auto -- Shai Agassi says it's electric cars or bust if we want to impact emissions. His company, Better Place, has a radical plan to take entire countries oil-free by 2020.

Competitions and Awards Programs:

The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision science competition encourages K – 12 students to imagine what technology might be like in the future. ExploraVision helps teacher sponsors meet many of the National Science Education Standards while letting students experience scientific process and discovery in an engaging, hands-on way. Let’s empower the next generation of inventors, scientists and leaders. http://www.exploravision.org
The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the nation's premier science competition for students in grades 5-8. Students have the opportunity to win amazing cash prizes and once-in-a-lifetime trips. http://www.youngscientistchallenge.com/
Rube Goldberg Machine Contest challenges students to design and build a comically involved, complicated invention, laboriously contrived to perform a simple operation. The 2014 Challenge is to zip a zipper. The International Online RGMC is for ages 11-14. There is also a College and High School RGMC.

http://www.rubegoldberg.com/


The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is the premier national environmental sustainability competition for grades K-12. Through project-based learning, students learn about science and conservation while creating solutions that impact their planet. Opens in August. Deadline is mid-March.

http://www.wecanchange.com/


The President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) are projects developed by young individuals, school classes (K-12), summer camps, and youth organizations to promote environmental stewardship. Winning projects in the past have covered a wide range of subject areas, including:

  • environmental science projects

  • recycling programs in schools and communities

  • construction of nature preserves

  • major tree planting programs

  • videos, skits, and newsletters that focused on environmental issues

Evaluation results consistently demonstrate that the experience is frequently a life-changing event for many of the young people and sponsors who attend. Deadline is December 31 of each year.

http://www.epa.gov/peya/


The NEED (National Energy Education Development) Project’s Youth Awards for Energy Achievement recognizes outstanding achievement and rewards student leadership for excellence in energy education in student’s schools and communities. This is a K-12 program with scrapbooks detailing projects and applications due to state coordinators in April each school year. For more information about this program see the following website: http://www.need.org/Youth-Awards.
National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) Sustainable Energy Award is a $10,000 award presented to each of the top three high schools that can demonstrate how they have engaged students and teachers in school-wide energy savings through the creative and innovative use of technology. Deadline is early February. http://www.neefusa.org/energyaward
The Ten80 Student Racing Challenge: NASCAR STEM initiative is a project-based learning system and optional competition league created by educators, engineers and industry partners over the last decade. Its mission is to help youth, especially underrepresented minorities and women, to develop confidence and interest in STEM areas that will give them skills in these subjects and as critical thinkers, ultimately helping prepare them for higher education, careers and citizenship. The curriculum is aligned with national standards and Ten80's team of engineer-educators provides professional development and training for teachers and coaches who support students. http://www.studentracingchallenge.com/
The Green Cup Challenge™ starts with dedicated green teachers and students. The GCC invites all schools -- public and private, day and boarding schools -- to measure and reduce campus electricity use and GHG emissions, and supports campus greening efforts including recycling and water conservation.

http://www.greencupchallenge.net/


The DuPont Challenge, North America’s premier science essay competition, encourages students to delve deep into their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and express themselves with creativity and purpose. Ours is a growing world that faces new challenges each day, and we want STUDENTS to share their ideas for how science can help keep our global population supplied with food, safety, and clean energy. Deadline is February 10, 2013. Senior Division for grades 10, 11, 12 and Junior Division for grades 7, 8, 9. http://www.thechallenge.dupont.com/
The Spark! Lab Invent It Challenge sponsored by the Smithsonian on ePals engages K-12 students to invent something to meet one of three challenges. Split into four categories by age. Challenge 1: Think about a problem in your school and come up with an invention to solve it. Challenge 2: Find an invention that is used in your school and tell us how you would improve upon it. Challenge 3: Find a real-world problem and come up with an invention to solve it. Deadline is January 4, 2013 at midnight EST.

http://en.community.epals.com/smithsonian_on_epals/p/inventionchallenge2012.aspx


DOE Sponsored Competitions and Programs

The Better Buildings Challenge supports commercial and industrial building owners by providing technical assistance and proven solutions to energy efficiency. The program also provides a forum for matching Partners and Allies to enhance collaboration and problem solving in energy efficiency. Both Partners and Allies are publically recognized for their leadership and innovation in energy efficiency. http://www4.eere.energy.gov/challenge/home


The Better Buildings Alliance is transforming the way commercial buildings use energy. BBA invites building owners, managers, and operators to work with the Building Technologies Program (BTP) and with each other to identify and implement best practices, key decision-making tools, and advanced technologies for significant energy savings in their portfolios. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/betterbuildings/bba/bba-index.html
The Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. http://www.solardecathlon.gov
EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future is a three-year collegiate engineering competition and the only program of its kind. The competition's mission is a vital one: offer an unparalleled hands-on, real-world experience to educate the next generation of automotive engineers. The competition challenges 15 universities across North America to reduce the environmental impact of a Chevrolet Malibu without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability. http://www.ecocar2.org/
The National Collegiate Wind Competition is a forum for undergraduate college students of multiple disciplines to investigate innovative wind energy concepts; gain experience designing, building, and testing a wind turbine to perform according to a customized market data-derived business plan; and increase their knowledge of wind industry barriers. Successful teams will gain and then demonstrate knowledge of technology, finance, accounting, management, and marketing, providing lifelong technical and business skills. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/news_detail.html?news_id=18984 Deadline for application: February 19, 2013
The National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition is designed to build regional networks of student-focused business creation contests across the country. Launched in 2011, the NCEBPC is part of the Obama Administration's Startup America Initiative, the White House campaign to inspire and promote entrepreneurship. Six regional organizations were funded under the competition to hold clean energy business plan competitions. In addition to the regional competitions, each June at the National Competition Event, the six finalists from the regional business plan competitions will pitch their business plans to a panel of expert judges– competing for the National Grand Prize of $100,000.

http://techportal.eere.energy.gov/commercialization/natlbizplan.html


The Challenge Home Student Design Competition will provide the next generation of architects, engineers, construction managers, and entrepreneurs with skills and experience to start careers in the field of clean energy and generate creative solutions to real-world problems. Through the Challenge Home, DOE seeks to apply proven innovations for high-performance homes that can be implemented by the home building industry, thereby serving as “models for success.” The core of the competition’s judging criteria is based on demonstrated competency applying Building America’s research findings, best practice solutions, and principles of building science. http://www.homeinnovation.com/DOEChallengeHomeStudentDesignCompetition

District/School Wide Programs:

ENERGY STAR for K-12 School Districts

Partnering with ENERGY STAR is a commitment to your students as well as to the environment. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=k12_schools.bus_schoolsk12


Wind For Schools Program – details about how to apply for this grant program. http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/schools_wfs_project.asp
Fuels for Schools program – will help assess if biomass can be used to heat schools and other buildings within the school district. Your facility may be eligible for a program-sponsored Pre-Feasibility Assessment if located in Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, or North Dakota. http://www.fuelsforschools.info/aboutFFS.html
TerraCycle's purpose is to eliminate the idea of waste. We do this by creating national recycling systems for previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste. Anyone can sign up for these programs, called the Brigades, and start sending us waste. http://www.terracycle.net/en-US/
Green Ribbon Schools is a national program recognizing schools making concerted energy efficiency, conservation and sustainability efforts. See if your state is involved and learn about what it takes to become a Green Ribbon School. http://greenribbonschools.org/
The Trash Redux initiative focuses on reducing the amount of trash produced by schools. It promotes conservation practices, awareness efforts and thoughtful decision making in order to obtain a “zero waste” platform in schools. http://www.gradesofgreen.org/initiatives/trash-redux
Growing public concern over greenhouse effects, concerns over safe disposal of e-waste, and local K-12 school district needs to conserve funding are forcing schools to address green IT issues as a matter of conscience, budget and political value. The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Green Computing Leadership Initiative provides tools, tips, and resources for school technology leaders to help reduce their school district carbon footprint. http://www.cosn.org/Default.aspx?TabId=4110
Recycle Bowl - Keep America Beautiful’s recycling competition is back. Compete against other schools in your state and nationwide to see who recycles the most. There are lots of ways to get involved, tools and resources to get you started, and GREAT PRIZES for top performers! http://recycle-bowl.org/
Teacher Awards:

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award is given annually to an outstanding middle or high school teacher who successfully integrates environmental education into their curriculum and engages students in interdisciplinary solutions to environmental challenges. The award alternates between middle and high school teachers each year (2012 is for high school teachers) and recognizes an educator who can serve as an inspiration and model for others. Winner will receive $5,000 and two merit winners will receive $750 each. Nominations due June 8. http://www.neefusa.org/bartlettaward.htm


The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Up to two teachers from each of EPA's 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers this award to nationally honor, support and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms & teaching methods. Teacher awardees will receive a commemorative plaque and an award of $2000 to be used to further the recipient’s professional development in environmental education. An additional award of $2000 will go to the teacher’s local education agency to fund the environmental education activities and programs of the teacher. Deadline is January 31, 2013.

http://www.epa.gov/education/teacheraward/index.html


Books on Energy:

Energy for Future Presidents by Richard Muller


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (adult book and children’s book versions)
Cultures of Energy: Power, Practices, Technologies edited by Sarah Strauss, Stephanie Rupp, and Thomas Love
Earth: The Operators’ Manual by Richard B. Alley
Energy Games:

Plan it Green: The Big Switch! allows players to create their own virtual cities and attempt to transform them into the most energy-efficient cities possible, earning points for energy production, eco-friendliness, and the happiness of the citizens of these digital domains. The free game aims to help young people better understand the energy systems available to us and what it takes to build a successful and sustainable community. Plan It Green, the Big Switch is part of CONNECT! Transform the Future, a new collaboration between the Center for Science (a network of leading science centers), National Geographic, General Electric and local energy companies across the country. http://www.planitgreenlive.com/
Energyville! allows players to control the energy mix of a virtual city and to discover the economic, environmental, and security impacts of their decisions. Developed by The Economist Group, funded by Chevron. http://www.energyville.com/

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