One of the key focus areas of Energy Alabama is education. In order to reach our goal of “net zero energy”, our first step must be in educating people about what sustainable energy is and how it can be used to help us reach “net zero” in Huntsville. This means education both for adults and for our children. However, in order to educate children, we have to start with educating teachers about sustainable energy.
Last month Energy Alabama had the opportunity to attend the North Alabama Technology Conference (NATC). This is a conference that provides teachers with the opportunity to learn about new technology and how they can incorporate technology into the classroom. NATC was a great opportunity for Energy Alabama to unveil our new lesson plans for teachers.
Energy Alabama recently opened the new education section on our website, providing lesson plans that teachers can use to teach their students about the power of sustainable energy. We offer lesson plans for students as young as kindergarten, and solar STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) kits that can be purchased for the classroom allowing middle and high school students to take energy concepts to the next level. We even host an annual STEM competition called the Switch Blade Competition that challenges high school and college students to redesign and manufacture the blades of a military wind power system, originally designed for the high-speed winds of Afghanistan, so that they work with the low winds of Alabama.
The solar STEM kits allow for real-world investigation of sustainable energy concepts. They can be integrated with provided lesson plans for specific activities like:
- Tracking the movement of the sun
- The effect of shading and shadows
- Projecting energy production based on season
- Comparing modeled energy production to actual
Of course, many teachers and students will work together to create their own uses for the solar STEM kits, creating an endless number of learning opportunities.
We spoke with many teachers at the conference who were surprised and quite happy to find that there was an option for them. They expressed that many students have asked for these types of learning opportunities but they did not previously have access to them within their budget. Students want to learn but we have to give them what they need so that they can learn the concepts that are vital for future success.
Our lesson plans are free, but unfortunately the supplies needed are not. That’s where you can help out!
Donations to Energy Alabama can be designated for specific uses. A donation as little as $10 will allow us to bring a solar STEM kit into a classroom and assist that teacher in providing sustainable energy education. If you’d like to donate a complete kit to a school or classroom, your donation of $3500 would ensure that your school has what they need to offer sustainable energy education to students for years to come.
Help us improve our educational efforts by getting these solar STEM kits and sustainable energy into our schools. Of course, this is only one of our many efforts to bring sustainable energy education to students and adults alike. We are also available to present educational talks to your students in the classroom, at camps, or even at your church. If you would like to schedule one of our speakers please click here.