Energy Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education



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Energy Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/education/energy_literacy.html) identifies seven Essential Principles and a set of Fundamental Concepts that, if understood and applied, will help individuals and communities make informed energy decisions. The intended audience is anyone involved in energy education from K-Gray and is meant to inform the improvement and development of energy curriculum to more broadly cover the Fundamental Concepts. The Energy Literacy Framework is free to download from the website and up to five hard copies can be ordered.
The Energy Literate Citizenry from K-to-Gray: A Webcast on the Department of Energy's Energy Literacy Initiative is available online, including a PDF of the presentation. Please see the web page below for the presentation and available resources.

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/education/webcast_energyliteracy.html


The Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has a searchable library of K-12 Lesson Plans & Activities (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/education/lessonplans/default.aspx). You will also find the Energy Literacy framework highlighted on this page. The Energy Literacy framework is a standards-like document for educators which identifies the concepts from both the natural and social sciences that someone would know and understand if they were energy literate. There are links to ScienceEducation.gov and to an Energy Basics site that are very useful as well. See EERE’s Kids Saving Energy site which was last updated in 2008 but still has a lot of relevant games and information. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/kids/

EERE Wind Office: Energy Basics/how wind turbines works with a really great widget/animation http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/wind_animation.html. They also have a great set of other wind energy basics multimedia http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/multimedia.html, and a wind 101 video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsZITSeQFR0&feature=youtu.be.

EERE Solar Office: Great resources for teaching about solar including videos, graphics and animations. https://www.eeremultimedia.energy.gov/solar/
Energy 101 videos from the U.S. Department of Energy. Short videos on a variety of energy related topics. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLACD8E92715335CB2&feature=plcp The DOE also has a general video site that can be searched for other topics and energy related talks. http://energy.gov/videos/
Department of Energy hosts Energy All Stars: On January 19, 2013 as part of Inauguration Weekend, the Department of Energy hosted Energy All Stars featuring prominent energy leaders doing TED-style talks outlining what our energy future can and should look like, and steps that can be taken to achieve that vision. Speakers included Secretary of Energy - Steven Chu, former governor of Michigan - Jennifer Granholm, Los Angeles Mayor - Antonio Villaraigosa, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance - Michael Liebreich, President and CEO of CPS Energy - Doyle Beneby, managing principal of the Analysis Group and former Assistant Secretary of Energy - Susan Tierney, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Watch these incredible presentations at: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgU0cHea5t3qPNsUzG9rcNsVG3eVv57qa
The Department of Energy’s Energy Saver site includes energy saving content as well as how-to articles and videos, calculators, and a blog. Beyond providing information about low-cost ways to lower household energy bills, the site also provides information about local tax credits, rebates and energy efficiency financing that may be available in different communities.

http://energy.gov/energysaver/energy-saver


PBS NOVA Labs: The Energy Lab (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/labs/lab/energy/) is the second lab in this new digital platform where “citizen scientists” can actively participate in the scientific process. For something we use every day, energy is a pretty mysterious concept. This Lab investigates what energy is, how it can be converted into useful forms, and why some sources are running low. In the Research Challenge, you'll use scientific data to design renewable energy systems for cities across the U.S.—and compete with others to see whose designs can produce the most power.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has an Energy Kids site (http://www.eia.gov/kids/) where you can find a wide range of activities for students and information about how teachers can put this site to use. They also have a lot of very useful data and analysis concerning energy on their main site (http://www.eia.gov/).
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Energy Explained site (www.eia.gov/energyexplained) is a great nonpartisan source for up-to-date energy facts and data on the entire range of energy topics. Do you understand where your gasoline comes from, what determines the price of electricity, or how much renewable energy we use? If not, you're not alone. But now you can learn all about energy at Energy Explained, a nonpartisan guide to the entire range of energy topics from biodiesel to uranium.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) State Energy Portal (http://www.eia.gov/beta/state/) includes interactive mapping, instant state comparisons, interactive state rankings, and an advanced state data finder to key statistics and analysis. To learn more, watch the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JverGty_ckQ
BITES (Building, Industry, Transportation, and Electricity Scenarios) tool is an interactive framework that lets users explore the energy and carbon implications of altering the current U.S. energy profile. Using 'what-if' scenarios, users are able to adjust inputs to the electricity generation, buildings, industry and transportation sectors in order to compare outcomes to baseline reference cases. https://bites.nrel.gov/
The NEED (National Energy Education Development) Project (www.need.org) has a large library of energy curriculum on a wide range of energy topics and is differentiated between primary, elementary, intermediate and secondary levels. Specific curriculum you will find useful can be found at the following site which sorts the curriculum according to subject. (http://www.need.org/Curriculum-Guides-by-Subject).
The National Academies’ What You Need To Know About Energy (http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/) interactive website breaks energy up into Uses, Sources, Costs and Efficiency. This site is a reliable source for unbiased information and science related to energy. Links are provided for an Energy Quiz, Short Video, Glossary and the original reports from the National Academies about energy on which the website is based. The National Academies – YouTube channel is a great resource for energy and climate change short videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/nationalacademies.
The Energy Library is a web-based information resource about energy in all of its multifaceted aspects. The Energy Library is neutral in regards to energy systems. It does not favor one type of energy source or energy policy over another, one country over another, or one political ideology over another. The Energy Library provides objective and up-to-date information that is written and reviewed by experts. http://theenergylibrary.com/
The Switch Energy Project is a film, web and education program to build energy awareness and efficiency, and help us move forward to a smarter energy future. They have a lot of short video clips on a wide range of energy topics that teachers may find useful and students may find interesting. http://www.switchenergyproject.com/index.php
Science360 Knowledge Network immerses visitors in the latest wonders of science, engineering, technology and math. They gather the latest science videos provided by scientists, colleges and universities, science and engineering centers, the National Science Foundation and more. A search of “energy” on the site yields some great short and long videos on a wide range of topics. http://science360.gov/
Green Revolution has 10 videos on a wide range of energy topics: discover, wind, green roofs, smart grid, city car, solar, hydrogen, biomass, microbes and electric vehicles. These short videos are a great intro to any of these topics and show some of the great research happening in different parts of the energy space. http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/greenrevolution/index.jsp
Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) houses a reviewed collection of K-20 educational resources meant to help students’ understand the core ideas in climate and energy science. These resources have been linked to the essential climate and energy literacy principles and are searchable in a variety of ways. http://cleanet.org/

The Climate and Energy Literacy Network is an informal group of scientists, educators, policy makers, community leaders, students, and citizens engaged in fostering Climate and Energy Literacy in the US and abroad. It provides a forum for organizations, agencies, and individuals to collaborate for climate and energy education. Members share ideas, coordinate efforts, promote policy reform, develop learning resources, and support integration of climate and energy literacy into formal and informal education venues. Initiatives of CLN feature accurate scientific information, engaging learning experiences, and multiple pathways to reach broad and diverse audiences, in both formal and informal venues. Join the Climate and Energy Literacy Network and its email list, by contacting Dr. Tamara Ledley of TERC, Cambridge, Mass. (tamara_ledley@terc.edu).
The Green Schools National Network (GSNN) which is a non-profit organization advances the national Green & Healthy Schools Movement by connecting like-minded and passionate education, non-profit, corporate and public sector individuals and programs.  GSNN is the national umbrella organization that works collaboratively with others to improve education in the United States.  Education for sustainability helps young people gain the knowledge, skills, motivation and hands-on experiences to make the world a better place for everyone and everything. http://www.greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org/
Energy4me is another organization that has resources and activities for students and also has free kits teachers can order to teach about energy topics. (http://www.energy4me.org/)
Science NetLinks from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (http://sciencenetlinks.com/) provides K-12 teachers, students, and families with quality resources for teaching and learning science. All of the resources are Internet based and free to everyone. They have a collection of resources called The Science of Energy (http://sciencenetlinks.com/collections/science-energy/) which shines a light on the types of lessons, tools, and interactives available to help students understand energy. One energy related game they have is called Power Up! (http://sciencenetlinks.com/interactives/powerup.html) It is aimed at younger students (Grades 3-8). They also have Power Play (http://sciencenetlinks.com/media/filer/2011/10/07/powerplay.swf) which is for grades 6-8. Energy Time Machine (http://sciencenetlinks.com/tools/energy-time-machine/) presents the history of energy from 500,000 BCE up to 2006. The Oil Refining interactive is also very good (http://sciencenetlinks.com/interactives/energy/interactive/api_treat_012810.swf).
AAAS Cutting Edge: Energy Lecture Series is a lecture series where AAAS members make brief, easy to understand presentations about the latest advancements in their field. The newest installment, Cutting Edge: Energy draws on the expertise of Paul Alivisatos, Henry Shiu, Belinda Batten, and Kim Magrini, as they share their insights on the newest developments in solar energy, wind energy, wave energy, and biofuels. Available as videos and audio podcasts, these lectures offer a fascinating look at the future of renewable energy resources. http://membercentral.aaas.org/cutting-edge
THINK! ENERGY is an initiative from National Energy Foundation that invites all people to practice three main principles: Think! – Discover energy and learn about resources, uses and supply as it relates to you personally, in schools or businesses, at home, and in your community. Talk! – Discuss the energy and environmental topics that encourage debate and formulate ideas. Take Action! – Decide to take action and make a difference in energy through conservation and energy efficiency practices that impact the environment in positive and healthy ways.

http://thinkenergy.org/


Earth: The Operators’ Manual (“ETOM” for short) is a rigorously researched, beautifully filmed and ultimately uplifting antidote to the widespread “doom and gloom” approach to climate change. The program opens with a thorough grounding in Earth’s climate history and an overview of the current dilemmas, but its main thrust is an upbeat assessment of our many viable sustainable energy options. Links to the three episodes of ETOM at this site – each about an hour long and worth viewing!

http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com/


WattzOn is a consumer energy engagement software platform that provides free tools and expert advice to help people understand their energy use and how they can make smart decisions about saving energy and making their homes more green. http://www.wattzon.com/etom
PBS America Revealed – Episode 1: Food Machine. Over the past century, an American industrial revolution has given rise to the biggest, most productive food machine the world has ever known. Host Yul Kwon explores how this machine feeds nearly 300 million Americans every day. He discovers engineering marvels we’ve created by putting nature to work and takes a look at the cost of our insatiable appetite on our health and environment. http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/episode/1/
PBS America Revealed – Episode 2: Nation on the Move. America is a nation of vast distances and dense urban clusters, woven together by 200,000 miles of railroads, 5,000 airports, and 4 million miles of roads. These massive, complex transportation systems combine to make Americans the most mobile people on earth. http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/episode/2/
PBS America Revealed – Episode 3: Electric Nation. Our modern electric power grid has been called the biggest and most complex machine in the world – delivering electricity over 200,000 miles of high tension transmission lines. But even though the grid touches almost every aspect of our lives, it’s a system we know very little about. http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/episode/3/
PBS America Revealed – Episode 4: Made in the USA. American manufacturing has undergone a massive revolution over the past 20 years. Despite all the gloom and doom, America is actually the number one manufacturing nation on earth. Yul Kwon crosses the nation looking at traditional and not-so traditional types of manufacturing. http://www.pbs.org/america-revealed/episode/4/
Our Children’s Trust has videos of youth from around the country talking about how climate change is affecting them and their families. It also details the actions they are taking to make a difference. http://ourchildrenstrust.org/trust-films They are partnered with iMatterMarch at www.imattermarch.org
Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) provides FREE high school assemblies with a conservation message that challenges students to DOT – do one thing and to join student action teams. Visit their website to learn how to schedule an assembly at your high school today! ACE is the national leader in high school climate science education. They are dedicated to educating America’s high school students about the science behind climate change and inspiring them to do something about it – while having fun along the way. ACE delivers two core offerings: the ACE Assembly and the Student Action Program. http://www.acespace.org/
The Alliance to Save Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency worldwide through research, education and advocacy. They encourage business, government, environmental and consumer leaders to use energy efficiency as a means to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment and greater energy security. http://ase.org/
The Cooperative Extension System provides featured articles and activities related to Home Energy. The extension website also has Farm Energy and Wood Energy resources.

http://www.extension.org/home_energy


WxTV is a national weatherization training show that uses a blend of expert advice, how-to techniques, innovation, and reality TV to create entertainment-based learning. Episodes range 12-15 minutes in length and are filmed around the country by WxTV film crews and often by weatherization crews themselves, in the field, showcasing their know-how. WxTV brings together differing techniques from hot, cold, humid, and arid environments, opening a dialogue for crews to debate the best way to accomplish weatherization tasks under varying conditions. But it’s not just weatherization on WxTV’s radar; the show has expanded to cover all aspects of energy-efficient living. In just a year and a half, the show has gained a sizable following within the weatherization, renovation, and energy-efficiency industries. http://wxtvonline.org/episodes/
Exploring Energy Efficiency & Alternatives (E3A): E3A was developed as a partnership with Montana and Wyoming Cooperative Extension systems as a foundation for non-biased, research-based information on home and agricultural energy efficiency and conservation strategies and small renewable energy technologies. E3A provides ready-to-use downloadable fact sheets, links to resources, and resources to help farm and home consumers explore small renewable energy systems For educators, E3A is a self-guided, self-contained grab-and-go-toolkit of resources for a wide range of audience applications - K-12, volunteer, train-the trainer and higher education energy education. , The E3A toolkit includes lesson plans, evaluation tools, teaching demonstration kits, fact sheets, presentation materials and other resources.. The E3A program is being adopted by a number of other states as a foundation for their statewide energy curriculum and a national training was offered to facilitate this adoption of the program . http://e3a4u.info/

Envirolution is dedicated to developing and scaling dynamic K-12 education, job training, leadership academy, and community outreach programs centered around green industries and green energy. With a focus on service learning, our programs not only provide career development for students, but also enable our participants to give back to their communities. Envirolution™ seeks to promote global change by championing local efforts that empower citizens to do positive, meaningful work and to make a good living while giving back to their own social and environmental communities. http://envirolution.org/

Tennessee Energy Hog: Learning about energy is fun when you include Energy Hogs! The Energy Hog Challenge is a set of classroom activities that guide children through lessons about different sources of energy, how we use energy at home, and how to bust energy hogs to save energy.

Students will:



  • Learn good energy-saving habits

  • Bring their lessons home to help their families save money by reducing home energy bills

  • Protect natural resources for future generations.

http://energyhog.org/
Energy Quest is the energy education website for the California Energy Commission. Energy is an integral part of our daily lives. Teaching an "energy ethic" to conserve finite resources is essential to our energy future, which is currently dependent on fossil fuels. We also must rely on our youth to help us create new ways to harness the elemental forces of our planet and the universe. They are tomorrow's scientists and inventors. They will discover new means of energy production and innovative ways to use less energy. We hope Energy Quest will answer their questions and spur creativity and imagination.

http://energyquest.ca.gov/


Con Edison energetically invites teachers and students to use their electrifying new website, ConEd Kids, designed especially for grades 5-8. ConEd Kids motivates kids to explore the world of energy all around them with Con Edison’s research on energy, games, links, biographies, factoids, dictionary, energy’s history, news, and the latest facts on the environment.

http://www.coned.com/kids/


The Green Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging youth to think holistically and critically about global environmental, social, and economic concerns and solutions. They have K-12 Lesson Clearinghouse as well as a variety of challenges which students can participate in related to environmental education. http://www.greeneducationfoundation.org/
Discovery Education’s TurfMutt: Foster an appreciation of the environment and an interest in the green space in your community with these classroom resources designed for students in grades K-5, recently updated with NEW lesson plans and activities for K-2! With TurfMutt as your guide, your class will get outside, investigate the benefits of landscaping and recycling, plus understand the importance of the lawns, flowers, bushes and trees that surround us every day. http://turfmutt.discoveryeducation.com/educators.cfm
The Foundation for Water & Energy Education is committed to providing balanced information regarding the use of water as a renewable energy resource in the Northwest.

http://fwee.org/


The National Science Teachers Association has Science Objects which are energy focused. Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. These Science Objects are currently available for free!

Energy: Different Kinds of Energy

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/7/SCB-EN.1.1

Energy: Energy Transformations

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/7/SCB-EN.2.1

Energy: Thermal Energy, Heat, and Temperature

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/7/SCB-EN.3.1

Energy: Useful and Not So Useful Energy

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/7/SCB-EN.3.1
RenewableEnergyWorld.com provides the latest news and information related to renewable energy. From blogs to videos and webcasts, this site has lots of resources though they do not have any specific lesson plans or education links. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/home
GOOD is a collaboration of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits pushing the world forward. They publish a magazine and GOOD Issue 022: The Energy Issue covers a variety of energy related topics.

http://www.good.is/the-energy-issue/


PhET site with lots of great simulations for physics, chemistry, biology, earth science and more.

http://phet.colorado.edu/

Simulation of a generator, transformer, electromagnet, pickup coil, and bar magnet – an easy way to show how energy is generated by changing the magnetic field and how moving electrons create magnetic fields. http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/faraday

Photoelectric Effect – the physics beyond photovoltaics and the principle for which Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics. http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/photoelectric


The Habitable Planet: Energy Lab Simulator in this lab, the challenge is to try to meet the world's projected energy demand by choosing from the available energy sources, while keeping atmospheric CO2 under control and avoiding the particular limits and pitfalls associated with each energy source. Lessons on Managing Resources and Energy Efficiency are detailed. http://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/interactives/energy/index.php
My Energy Gateway is a site focused on planning an education and career in energy. Find information on degrees and certifications in energy. Get tuition and information on scholarships, internships, college rankings, career options and industry resources.

http://www.myenergygateway.org/


Whales to Windmills: Inventions Inspired by the Sea is a Tedx talk that details inventions connected to creatures from the sea. It has an energy and carbon emission connection. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpLzI27febM
Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) has an education page with resources for K-12, EnergyWhiz website (http://www.energywhiz.com/) for students that provides activities and access to data from PV-powered schools, continuing education courses and much more. http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/education/
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
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
Competitions and Awards Programs:

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
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

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