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 with articulated state standards. Developed in partnership with Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Center for Energy and Power and Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP); AK EnergySmart includes a variety of grade level appropriate modules, lessons and materials that focus primarily on energy efficiency, while touching upon power generation. A first grader may learn the insulating properties of otter fur, while seniors in high school study the design of renewables within a rural Alaskan microgrid system. AKEnergySmart includes several modules that deal specifically with building science, and is flexible enough to incorporate the fast-developing world of clean energy technologies. Classroom presentations of AK EnergySmart also serve a dual purpose as energy educators are able to model the delivery of specific energy lessons to teachers – and thereby train regular classroom teachers in attendance (with Continuing Education credits available). In addition, AK EnergySmart serves as the foundational curriculum for the Power Pledge Challenge, an annual energy conservation competition amongst more than 3,000 K-12 students in Alaska, representing four different school districts that are served by six separate electric utilities.
- 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 via classroom visits, video-conference and teacher trainings. Hands-on curriculum includes a wind turbine design competition for students in grades 4-12 (Kid Wind). Additionally, some Alaskan schools have installed small wind turbines on-site as demonstration projects. There are currently seven turbines across the state that were installed through the Wind for Schools program from 2009 to 2011.
- The Sustainable Energy Program at UAF Bristol Bay is able to offer Dillingham’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 Indian Energy has piloted an effort to develop a place and technology-based curriculum. Lessons are targeted toward rural Alaskan microgrid communities where the high cost of fuel is a major factor affecting quality of life. High school level lessons are designed to foster student interest in the day to day workings of the village power plant, grid, and utility office. Lessons include basic power plant operations, diesel efficiency, calculatingPower Cost Equalization (PCE) numbers, business math, basic electricity principles and meter reading.
- Alaska Resource Education (ARE) is a nonprofit dedicated to educating Alaskan students about oil, gas, mineral and forestry resources within the state. With an emphasis on resource extraction and industry; the organization has on offer a K-8 energy literacy curriculum that incorporates lessons on energy conservation, the sun as an energy source and renewable concepts. ARE employs one full-time energy educator.
- Beyond AK EnergySmart and Wind for Schools, there are scores of federal and state agencies, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and individuals who have made compelling clean energy literacy content available online, often free and aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).