Alaska Network for Energy Education
The key to solving Alaska’s domestic energy problems and creating a sustainable future for future generations is educating Alaskans about our energy sources and how we use energy. Energy science and math literacy in our youth is a critical first step to building an informed populace and preparing Alaska’s residents for the jobs of tomorrow. That’s why REAP has focused on K-12 energy education programs and why we are working to create the Alaska Network for Energy Education (ANEE) to bring a common thread to K-12, post-secondary, and career and technical energy education in Alaska. If you are interested in learning more about ANEE or being a part of the network, contact Courtney Munson.
REAP’s Energy Education Involvement:
AK EnergySmart: In 2011-2012, REAP and colleagues at the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) at UAFdesigned an Alaska-specific energy efficiency curriculum called AK EnergySmart with funding from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC). AK EnergySmart is a free curriculum resource that is owned by the State of Alaska that gives Alaskan youth an understanding of the high economic and environmental costs of power generation and the importance of conserving energy at home and school. Through interdisciplinary units of study that investigate how energy is all around them, why we need energy, and how energy can be conserved, this K -12 curriculum gives students valuable insights that they can pass along to their families. All lessons are aligned to Alaska Grade Level Expectations (GLEs).
AK EnergySmart lessons, supplementary worksheets, and multi-media are available online at www.akenergysmart.org!
Wind for Schools: Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) is the State Facilitator for the Wind for Schools program in Alaska, and led the effort, along with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP), to have Alaska added in 2010 to the list of 11 states accepted to this national program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America program. The program aims to provide hands-on science education for a wide range of ages, and provide workforce development opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in renewable energy.
One of the centerpieces of the Wind for Schools program has been helping schools install small turbines at their schools. As of February 2012, five turbines have been installed with assistance from Alaska Wind for Schools. The first Alaskan school to install a turbine was Sherrod Elementary in Palmer (see list of other participating schools below).
The Wind for Schools program also includes teacher training and hands-on lessons to educate students about energy. Using wind energy as a keystone, students will learn about energy science, energy sources, climate change, physics, mathematics, and energy. Teachers and students can capture data from the turbine and use it in a variety of classroom experiences and lessons. Many schools participate with curricula even though they do not have a turbine, and the program is working on ways for schools with turbines to share data with other schools around the state.
Alaska Wind for Schools also is the proud organizer of the KidWind Challenge in Alaska since 2011. The Challenge is a wind turbine design contest for students in grades 6-12. Learn more about the challenge here, including updates on the 2013 Challenge.
Turbine locations in Alaska:
Sherrod Elementary, Palmer
Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Sitka
Juneau Coast Guard Station, Juneau
Northwest Arctic Career and Technical Center (NACTEC), Nome
Mat-Su College, Palmer
Begich Middle School, Anchorage
Kodiak High School, Kodiak
AK EnergySmart website
Main Alaska Wind for Schools website
Information about the KidWind Challenge
akenergyefficiency.org has many energy-related educator resources
Alaska Resource Education also has a variety of energy lessons and activities for students
Contact REAP Development Director Courtney Munson at 929-7770 if you have any questions about REAP’s energy education programs.