Energy Literacy: Empowers students to make thoughtful energy-related decisions, choices, and actions in their approach to everyday life
Increasing the literacy of the general public on energy-related matters is critically important to promote conservation and efficiency and to ease the adoption of new energy technologies. Energy education activities range from middle school through PhD levels. K-12 outreach has included the development and implementation of units on energy systems (8th grade) and the hydrogen/biofuel economy (high school). These units have been taught by our own graduate students in partnership with local teachers. STEM workshops for teachers have also been established to provide energy-related education and ideas for the classroom.
At the University level, a new undergraduate minor in Sustainable Energy Systems Engineering has been established. This minor emphasizes that all engineering disciplines are necessary to develop and assess technologies to both increase the efficiency of our energy use and advance renewable and alternative energy sources.
Scholarly research activities such as the Energy Literacy Assessment Project include an ongoing effort to measure energy literacy among our students and assess the effectiveness of various K-12 curricular programs. A written survey has been developed that measures energy-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors according to defined content objectives for energy literacy. Current research uses the Energy Literacy Survey as a reliable, valid measure to examine energy literacy levels among a large sample of middle and high school students throughout New York State, and to investigate relationships between student gains in energy literacy and the energy education they experience at school. These initiatives have been funded by the NSF and NYSED.
For more information, visit the links below:
- New - NASA Climate Change Education Project
- Award-winning middle school energy curriculum
- Award-winning energy choices board game
- Energy education workshops for teachers
- Energy Literacy Assessment Project
- Energy Education Publications
Point of Contact: Dr. Susan Powers, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
(Funding from the National Science Foundation through grant DUE-0428127 is acknowledged.)