High quality lessons and materials are a cornerstone to any educational endeavor. Alaska has an abundance of quality energy literacy curriculum ready for traditional classroom learning environments, including Alaska-specific clean energy lessons, modules and hands-on activities. Specific curriculum focused on wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biomass, energy storage and other clean energy resources can be easily accessed by clean energy educators from a variety of online sources.
- •Like many states, Alaska has developed a specific energy curriculum that is aligned witharticulated state standards. Developed in partnership with Alaska Housing FinanceCorporation, Alaska Center for Energy and Power and Renewable Energy Alaska Project(REAP); AK EnergySmart6 includes a variety of grade level appropriate modules, lessonsand materials that focus primarily on energy efficiency, while touching upon powergeneration. A first grader may learn the insulating properties of otter fur, while seniors inhigh school study the design of renewables within a rural Alaskan microgrid system. AKEnergySmart includes several modules that deal specifically with building science, and isflexible enough to incorporate the fast-developing world of clean energy technologies.Classroom presentations of AK EnergySmart also serve a dual purpose as energyeducators are able to model the delivery of specific energy lessons to teachers – andthereby train regular classroom teachers in attendance (with Continuing Education creditsavailable). In addition, AK EnergySmart serves as the foundational curriculum for thePower Pledge Challenge, an annual energy conservation competition amongst more than3,000 K-12 students in Alaska, representing four different school districts that are servedby six separate electric utilities.
6 AK EnergySmart is a free curriculum resource designed to give Alaskan youth an understanding of the economic and environmental costs of power generation and the importance of conserving energy at home and school.
- •The second most prevalent clean energy curriculum taught in Alaska is Wind for Schools,a program developed by the Department of Energy, and delivered by REAP viaclassroom visits, video-conference and teacher trainings. Hands-on curriculum includes awind turbine design competition for students in grades 4-12 (Kid Wind). Additionally,some Alaskan schools have installed small wind turbines on-site as demonstrationprojects. There are currently seven turbines across the state that were installed throughthe Wind for Schools program from 2009 to 2011.
- •The Sustainable Energy Program at UAF, Bristol Bay is able to offer Dillingham, Alaska’s K-12 community a wide range of educational opportunities ranging from lessons in efficiency to small renewable energy systems; with some high school students able to earn college credit.
- •In the village of Kokahanok, Alaska; the US Department of Energy’s Office of IndianEnergy has piloted an effort to develop a place and technology-based curriculum.Lessons are targeted toward rural Alaskan microgrid communities where the high cost offuel is a major factor affecting quality of life. High school level lessons are designed tofoster student interest in the day to day workings of the village power plant, grid, andutility office. Lessons include basic power plant operations, diesel efficiency, calculatingPower Cost Equalization (PCE) numbers, business math, basic electricity principles andmeter reading.
- •Alaska Resource Education (ARE) is a non-profit dedicated to educating Alaskanstudents about oil, gas, mineral and forestry resources within the state. With an emphasison resource extraction and industry; the organization has on offer a K-8 energy literacycurriculum that incorporates lessons on energy conservation, the sun as an energy sourceand renewable concepts. ARE employs one full-time energy educator.
- •Beyond AK EnergySmart and Wind for Schools, there are scores of federal and stateagencies, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and individuals who havemade compelling clean energy literacy content available online, often free and alignedwith Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (K-12 STEM Appendix)