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Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) is working in collaboration with Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) to develop an energy efficiency curriculum for use in K-12 classrooms across the state. Funded by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC), the AK EnergySmart curriculum will give Alaskan youth a better awareness of how they use energy and the importance of taking measures to use energy wisely both at home and school.

Energy efficiency is focused on doing the same amount of work while using less energy. Increasing energy efficiency of homes, schools, transportation and power generation systems can be a quick and economic way to decrease the demand and cost for energy. High fuel costs and extreme weather make energy efficiency especially important in Alaska.

Education is essential in the creation of an energy savvy and responsible Alaskan citizenry. Through interdisciplinary units of study that investigate how energy is all around them, why we need energy, and how energy can be conserved, this K – 12 curriculum will give students valuable insights that they can pass along to their families. All lessons are aligned to Alaska Grade Level Expectations (GLEs).

This curriculum will help students find answers to many essential questions:
  • What are various forms and sources of energy?
  • How do we use energy-What various energy efficiency options are available?
  • Why do we care about Energy Efficiency? How can demand side energy efficiency and conservation and generation side energy efficiency reduce overall energy consumption and why is that important?
  • What direct steps can I take in my school and home to lower consumption?
AK EnergySmart Activities

If you are interested in AK EnergySmart activities at your school during Energy Awareness Month in October, please contact Courtney Munson at 907-929-7770 x13 or c.munson@realaska.org.

How to cite lesson plans in this curriculum:

Maher, K. et al. (2012). [Lesson plan title]. Retrieved from AK EnergySmart website: www.akenergysmart.org

  • Scott McKim
    • Begich Middle School, Anchorage

    As a public school teacher in Alaska, the new AK EnergySmart curriculum has been a huge asset to my classroom. With it I am able to contextualize seemingly complex energy science concepts into understandable and relevant learning experiences for my students. Instead of all of the energy data I use in my classroom having an asterisk next to it because it didn’t include Alaska data, I’m now using an energy curriculum that is place-based in nature and specific to where we live. Students are able to connect these concepts to simple decisions they make about turning on lights in their house, charging their cell phones and playing video games. Energy and the harnessing of natural resources is a huge part of Alaska’s economy; if we’re not teaching students to be literate in what’s going on their backyards then we’re missing the bigger picture of what education is all about. The AK EnergySmart curriculum sets the scene for learning that takes place when the student’s inquiry comes in response to a direct need and when the subject to be studied is present in reality rather than merely in the abstract – my students using this curriculum are a testament to this.

  • Jodi Doster
    • Bristol Bay Borough High School, Naknek

    As an AK EnergySmart Pilot Educator I was able to use lessons that brought Alaska into my classroom energy unit. Most curriculums do not use Alaskan examples in the lessons. The curriculum I am using in physical science used examples of energy use in homes located in Texas and New York. EnergySmart made it not only possible for me to use Alaskan examples, but I was able to use examples of energy use in our region, Bristol Bay. The lessons made energy use and efficiency relevant to my students and their lives. Students were engaged and motivated in these hands-on lessons. The lessons were well organized and easy for me and my students to follow.

     

  • Joe Cox
    • Woodriver Elementary, Fairbanks

    The Alaska EnergySmart lessons present important concepts for elementary students in a manner that inspires quality classroom discussion. The activities are both fun and meaningful for students. The lesson plans and their extension ideas are clearly written and easy to follow. Additionally, numerous internet links to pertinent scientific background information are provided to the classroom teacher for each of the lessons.