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Energy Literacy in MA by Mind Map: Energy Literacy in MA
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Energy Literacy in MA

Project to Increase Energy Literacy in MA



Outcomes- (How do we know if it is successful)

People Involved

SAGEE Project Team, Marybeth Campbell, Will Snyder, Tim Rayworth, Ann McGovern, Conversation Participants, Lisa Hutchings- MAS Joppa Flats (Newburyport), Cynthia Mead- Zoo New England (Stoneham), Clif Reed- DCR Quabbin Reservoir (Belchertown), Jim Lafley- DCR Wachusett Reservoir (West Boylston), Will Snyder- UMass Ext (Amherst), Tricia Sheppard- Lloyd Center (Duxbury), Sou Cloutier- Miller River EC (Orange?), Kristin Karl Carnahan- DCR Ranger Services (Boston), Joel Rubin- Stoughton High School (Stoughton), Maria Beiter-Tucker- DCR Quabbin Reservoir (Belchertown), Jennifer Marshall- SEEAL (New Bedford), Shawn Reeves-, Bob Chen- UMass Boston (Boston), Ann McGovern- DEP (Boston), Bill Stanwood- Product Stewardship institute, Mary Marro- Nashua River Watershed Association, John Anderson- New England Aquarium

Energy Education Task Force, Liza Molodovski, Meg Colclough- EOEEA, Ann Berwick- EOEEA Undersecretary for Energy, Halina Brown- head of the Environmental Policy & Science Dpt at Clark Univ, Francie Nolde, Sydney Asbury-Governor’s Office, Bob Keough- EOEEA


Information Gathering- Steps taken:, Survey of Education community to gather information about Energy Education, Meeting of Educators in community with Undersecretary Ann Berwick who posed 8 questions, 8 Questions, What are we doing now?, What would we be doing to increase literacy around energy., What are effective spread mechanisms?, To what extent are events like Envirothon working?, Who needs to be involved in this?, To what extent should we be looking at education outside of the schools?, To what degree should we be using MCAS to integrate into the curriculum?, Do adequate curricula already exist?, Meeting Notes

What is Energy Literacy?



Energy Education is not he province of any one discipline, Food and fiber, solid waste recycling, and water are just as much a part of energy issues as transportation and housing

Most effective delivery of energy education is through systems perspectives, e.g.. Ecological Footprint = Energy Footprint

Non-formal programs are often better than schools at getting youth involved in the community (they have more freedom to adjust their curriculum and try new ideas) and are likelier to focus on citizen empowerment/action elements of climate education.

Focus areas

Energy Conservation, ex. comparing energy consumed when buying produce locally compared to imported

Climate Change

Alternative Fuels

Renewable Energy

Mechanics of Energy

How is energy education being conducted?

Informal integration with existing topics

As stand alone programming at informal education sites and community resources

As curriculum driven programming at schools an universities


Existing Energy Education

Existing Energy Ed Programs, Professional Development, Inconvenient Truth screenings, VEEC and others, 2007 DOE Content Institutes, Climate Change backpack workshops, PLT Workshops, Integratign Science through Energy- a grad level course for teachers at UMass Boston Fall 2007, Energy in Schools Workshop- NYSERDA, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Design, & Renewable Energy, Transportation for Tomorrow's World Today, What's Your Energy Strategy? - Establishing and Justifying Goals, Making the Project Work for You, Formal/school based, Energy Units, Stoughton HS 9th grade Environmental Science Course, DEP Green Team, Recycling program, Idling reduction activities, CFL Lightbulb lesson with free bulbs to 1st 50 classes, Other energy activities in kit, Partnership with outside org, Millers River EC provides energy related programming for local schools, Community Colleges, Informal/org based, Annual or Large Projects, Envirothon, Junior Solar Sprint- Solar Car competition (NESEA), Workshops for Middle and High School Educators, Step Up Rally (Lexington HS), Camp Program (Broadmoor)- in trial, Individual or Single programs, Summer Sun Safety program- using Sunwise Kit from Dept of Energy (Joppa Flats), Energy Awareness Day (Joppa Flats), Weather program (Joppa Flats), Birding and Climate (joppa), Climate change lectures- college (Zoo New England), Earth Day events with Mass Clean Energy (Zoo New England), Community programs (Millers River EC), Field trips to Green building and alternative energy sites, Ongoing Programs, Clean Green Power Project (NESEA), Series programs, Polar Adventures preschool (Joppa), Climate Change and Current Events- middle to high school (Zoo New England), ECOTeens- recycling (Zoo New England), Curriculum, Climate Change Backpack, NESEA lessons and Curricular units, High School, Cars of Tomorrow and the American Community, Middle & Lower High School, Getting Around Clean & Green --N/A, Getting Around Without Gasoline -- Limited Supply Available, Travel Solutions to Global Warming, Wind Wisdom Educator's Guide: Wind Energy Activities, Planet Connecticut, Upper Elementary, Choose Your Future Adventure Game, Trip Tally: Discovering Environmental Solutions, Clean Green Power Project, Totally Tree-Mendous Activities, Grades 3 - 12, A Solar Kit for the Classroom -- N/A, NESEA Special Patch Programs for Girl Scouts, Clean Green Power Patch (Brownies through Seniors), Wind Wisdom (Teen Girl Scouts), PLT, PLT Energy and Society, PLT Places We Live module, PLT K-8 Activites, The Habitable PLanet, Materials, Guide to Presenters on Earth-Friendly Transportation, MAP - Getting Around Clean & Green In Massachusetts's Pioneer Valley, Community based, Renewable Energy Series (SEEAL), Recognition, EE Awards

Existing Energy Ed Audiences

Existing Energy Ed Providers in MA, Public, Statewide, UMASS Extension, EOEEA, DCR, WEBNERR, DEP- Green Team, DOE, MA Technology Collaborative, Recent Grant recipients, Local Resources, Stoughton HS, Waldorf School at Lexington HS, Community Colleges, Vocational/Technical Schools, Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area, Charlemont MA Waste Water Treatment Plant, Monument Valley Regional Middle School, Deer Island Treatment Plant, Holyoke Dam and Robert E. Barrett Fishway, John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley, North Adams Public Library, Saugus Iron Works National Historical Site, Tsongas Industrial History Center, Private, Harvard University Center for the Environment, Genzyme Center, Gilman Ordway Campus, Solar Now, Non-profit, Millers River Environmental Ed Center, Mass Audubon, Broadmoor, Joppa Flats, Envirothon, Harvard Forest, Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, Zoo New England,, Charles River Museum of Industry, MASS MoCA, Museum of Science, Audubon Society of Rhode Island Environmental, Education Center, Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center, George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center at Boston Nature Center (Mattapan), H.O.B.B.E.S., Out-of-State, Searsburg Wind Farm (searsburg,VT), Apeiron Institute (Coventry RI), New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Chewonki Foundation, Industry, Hull Wind, MassInnovation Center, Wheelabrator Millbury Trash to Energy, Collaborative Groups, Southeast Environmental Education Alliance, Valley Environmental Education Collaborative

Energy Education Enabling Factors

Funding Opportunities, Public Awareness Grants (MA Tech Collaborative), Green Schools (MA Tech Collab)

Infrastructure, Environmental education practitioners make strong leaders in Energy Ed because they, are familiar with interdisciplinary approach to education, Can design hands-on project-based education, Create materials to build skills, are experienced with learning outside the classroom, are comfortable with community based learning, have a tradition of handling controversial issues through citizen participation, are passionate about the issues they get behind

Administrative Support, EOEEA Interest, Reorganization to include dept of Energy, Undersecretary Berwick recognizes that education is an important tool in addressing energy issues, DOE, Emphasis on STEM, Gov. Patrick has linked global warming and human health, Global Warming and Energy Policy are closely linked


Preparedness of Educators

Potential providers not prepared with content, In need of "gearing up" to provide Energy content

Linkages to traditional material

Teachers struggle to link sustainability of energy to other science topics...there are "shallow or no links between teaching about compact flourescent light bulbs and the rest of the curriculum, the traditioanl canon of environmental science."



Zoo New England membership base: 11,000 households

Zoo New England: 500,000 visitors/yr

Stoughton HS: 400 kids/yr (example of Env Sci course- how many others across state?

DEP Green Team: 686 Teachers, 123,000 students

Frameworks/Standards/MCAS connections

"teachers feel it will help students in technology aspect of frameworks, something which is lacking in many districts)

Links to Standards/Frameworks

Plug in to other initiatives

Electrathon battery powered car racing

Step It Up

Green Schools- $15M initiative

Possible Partners

EOEEA should facilitate small group meetings connecting expertise with funding; for example, bringing together museum, newspaper and utility staff to brainstorm about how to connect museum/newspaper audiences with the energy conservation initiatives funded by utilities.


MA Tech Collaborative


Nature centers

Radio stations (including stations students listen to like Radio Disney, rock and rap)

TV stations

Red Sox and Patriots (public service announcements during their games)

Energy conservation industry and agencies

Distribution and installation professionals

Higher education, Teaching colleges and universities such as Bridgewater State and U MA

Nonprofit advocacy groups

Interested government representatives

The energy industry - it can offer students internships and research opportunities, Utility companies, esp. re energy efficiency programs they operate

EOEEA agency staff should be encouraged to make school and community connections, even for just a couple of days a year.


Challenges to Energy Ed

No central Theme

Energy can focus narrowly on new technologies

Risk being the "flavor of the month", ex. many teacher in 07 added energy related materials as a result of Envirothon- an annual event

Changing the machine

In physics, a "Callous Disregard for the green side of mother nature is the norm"

Brainstorm how EOEEA can foster Environmental Literacy

Program snippets

Pizza Box Solar Cooking of s'mores

Electrathon battery powered car racing

Use air quality data in teaching


· The concept of an “ecological footprint” has really resonated w MA high school teachers and students.

Teach people about the additive nature of small actions to create a very big effect. Multiple, redundant and complementary opportunities for learning are important.

We already have plenty of great curriculum resources on energy/climate. What is needed is support for teachers and schools to adapt these resources to their own situations. NCLB and MCAS have stifled teacher leadership/initiative in curriculum choice/development, particularly in environmental education. This opens up a significant niche for EOEEA to encourage/support teacher leadership/creativity/sharing in development of such curriculum.

· Provide a large dose of leadership, by sending a loud and clear message on the need for education on energy use/climate change, including what we need citizens to know and be able to do; set an example by mobilizing EOEEA agencies/staff to contribute; promote high visibility for efforts by teacher/leaders, schools, communities.

Take the lead in making climate change progress a priority goal of this administration.

Inexpensive Ideas (0-$5K)

Website, Description, · Recruit teachers to advise EOEEA on development of a meta website with links to climate science, policy and curriculum resources for teachers., · Post live data on a website about current energy use in MA; and re past energy use in MA, including what types of sources generated the electricity and end-user loads., · Create a wiki website (built and maintained by users) with links to curriculum ideas and reviews., · Post data on website re Boston area temperature and precipitation measures, as far back in time as data has been collected, in format exportable to Excel., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, · Expand Secretary’s Excellence in Environmental Education awards to recognize excellence in connection to the community, linking science and social studies (educating students on critical thinking re “appropriate technology”, providing guidance on preparation for active citizenship), student action., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, Put an education team together. Get out to the schools and regions and encourage them. Bring energy ideas to Rotaries and Chambers including demonstrated concepts of lower utility rates., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, · Sponsor a school contest for renewable energy development or use by schools., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, EOEEA agency staff should be encouraged to make school and community connections, even for just a couple of days a year., Pros, Cons, Action

Modest Expense ($5-10K)

Idea, Description, · Create a public service announcement for TV/radio about current electricity consumption along with a request to turn off/unplug appliances not being used. At next ad break, report how much energy reduction has been realized, and seek additional conservation steps. Do this daily for a few days, particularly early in summer and on peak energy use days., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, Provide a moderate dose of funding, for educational networking efforts and professional development, both web-based and face-to-face., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, · Provide more funding for the Green Team program to enable it to expand climate change components, reach more schools, and provide more students with prizes for energy conservation achievements. (She says the Green Team is planning to introduce a climate change component this year focusing on actions students can take to reduce their contribution to greenhouse gases.), Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, · Seek out stories of students who have worked to measure/reduce energy use in their schools. Report these stories in popular media and in media for educators, both web and print., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, there is a need for more curricula on cutting edge renewal energy (wind, wave, tidal, solar, biomass) and also on carbon sequestration technologies., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, · Get schools to have wellness policies that promote energy-saving fitness programs like biking/walking to school, and farm-to-school programs that incorporate local produce into school lunches., Pros, Cons, Action

Expensive ($10-100K)

Idea, Description, EOEEA should create a full-time position for an Environmental Education Director and develop a grant program to support educational programs on energy use and climate change., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, Hands on is the best mechanism. Access to PV and wind and thermo gear through commercial partnerships with installation industry and power investors. Teachers at a # of schools like Cape Cod Community Colleges’s Mary Jane Curran and Bob Bedard have energy projects and curriculum already. Mt. Wachusett Comm College’s Rob Rizzo would share his biomass and wind power accomplishments. Put together a case study compendium of those who have such programs., Pros, Cons, Action

Idea, Description, · Sponsor school district-wide greening efforts that involve teachers and students in planning and implementation. Greening efforts should be viewed in the largest context - not just school buildings, but also educate communities and encourage their involvement., Pros, Cons, Action

Very Expensive (>$100K)

Idea, Description, · Work with DOE to facilitate a series of forums for high school students to work with data about where our energy comes from, how it is used, and current trends, and have students try to decide where energy should be generated in the future. Engage at least one class from every high school in MA., Pros, Cons, Action


People to contact

Debbie Fitton-

Chris Mason-

Shawn Reeves-

Nancy Nylen-

Bil Labich-

Bart Lee- St. Francis Middle School (Medford) uses energy in teaching (ref: joel rubin)

John Papadonis- K-8 science head in Burlington- uses energy in teaching (ref: Joel Rubin)

Integrating Sciences through Energy Professors at UMB, Bob Chen- Env Science Teacher, Bala Sunderam- Physics, Fernando Cleves- Middle School teacher


MA Energy Consumers Alliance

Boston Science Partnership


Parker Products (Reading)- tremendous resource for photovoltaics)

Conservation Services Group


MA Tech Collab Guide to Teaching Renewable Energy and Global Warming