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Energy Literacy Assessment Project

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Energy Literacy: Empowers students to make thoughtful energy-related decisions, choices, and actions in their approach to everyday life


Efforts to promote energy literacy – a citizenship understanding of energy that includes attitude and behavioral aspect – will help people become actively engaged in making energy-related decisions that better their future. This educational research study intends to improve our understanding of how energy education can improve energy literacy among middle and high school students. A written survey has been developed that measures energy-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors according to defined content objectives for energy literacy. The survey is designed for classroom use and takes most students about 35 minutes to complete.


Overall results from two pilot rounds (n=1739) indicate that students are generally cognizant of and sympathetic to energy problems (attitude scores were 77%, HS, and 71%, MS), yet relatively low knowledge (48%, HS, and 41%, MS) and behavior (66%, HS, and 65%, MS) scores suggest that students may lack the knowledge and skills they need to effectively contribute toward a solution. These preliminary findings emphasize the need for improved energy education programs within our schools.


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 (n=4000), and to investigate the relationship between changes in energy literacy and the types of energy education programs to which the students are exposed.

Energy Literacy Questionnaire


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For more information regarding these surveys or the Instrument Development Framework, please contact Jan DeWaters.

(Funding from the National Science Foundation through grant DUE-0428127 is acknowledged.)