Sustainable Energy Education

“When you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

We know better and we intend to do better. One student at a time.

We recognize that the next generation is critical to the success of sustainable energy and our overall economy. To this end, we focus heavily on developing and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders through hands-on, interactive sustainable-energy educational activities. We hope to provide an initial spark that motivates our students to think big and take bold action. We follow up these educational activities with volunteer and project opportunities that provide valuable avenues to nurture student interest and growth in sustainable energy.

Education Programs

  • Lesson Plans are available for grades K-5 teaching a variety of topics surrounding sustainable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Energy In Action is our high school program teaching the fundamentals of energy management. The program consists of 12 days of instruction per semester, including hands-on field trips and activities.
  • Adult education courses in sustainable energy are available through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and on-demand.

Education Accomplishments

  • 2016 Air Quality Education Award from the City of Huntsville
  • ~12,000 Alabama students taught about sustainable energy
  • ~150 Alabama teachers trained about energy careers
  • Educator professional development agreement with NASA Marshal Space Flight Center
  • Serve on the Alabama Green Schools Committee with the Alabama Department of Education

Community Education Events

We actively participate in community events with an educational focus. Examples include:

  • Setting up a full-size wind tunnel at STE(A)M Fest at Lowe Mill allowing students to see how wind power works.
  • Providing an “energy bike” at the 2015 Earth Day Celebration at Hays Nature Preserve, which shows students the level of human energy needed to power a light bulb.
  • Presenting at Charged Up for Change, an event to encourage students to become involved in community activities and use their own innovative talent to drive social change.

     

Past Projects

Energy Sustainability for Tomorrow

We worked with James Clemens High School in Madison to design and build a net-zero energy tiny home, with the goal of teaching high-performance construction and sustainable energy through hands-on, project-based learning. Students took ownership of every piece of the project including design, construction, decorating, fundraising, and marketing.

Solar STEM

Solar STEM is a kit-based, collaborative learning project jointly developed with partners at Custom Manufacturing and Engineering (CME) and aligned with College and Career Ready Standards that provides real-world investigation of sustainable-energy-related concepts. For this project, students use a “Solar STEM” kit to complete specially designed lesson plans in sustainable energy. Examples of these activities include:

  • Tracking the movement of the sun
  • Learning about the effect of shading/shadows, tilt, and orientation on solar-power production
  • Projecting energy production based on season and weather
  • Comparing modeled energy production to actual energy production

Sustainable Energy Field Trips

We hosted student groups at a Huntsville-based businesses that have taken full advantage of sustainable energy. Students were given the opportunity to see an operational 50 kilowatt (kW) solar array feeding energy to the grid, as well as view the various energy-conserving features of the building, including real-time performance data. The tour included a briefing from a Certified Energy Manager on the company’s investment in sustainable energy and why it is so important for our community’s future.

Switch Blade Competition

The Switch Blade Competition invited high school and college students to redesign and manufacture the blades of a military wind-power system originally designed for the high-speed winds of Afghanistan. The team that produced the most electricity at low speeds, which are more indicative of Alabama, won!

Want us to visit your school or learn more?

Contact us using the form below (we promise we read them!), email us at dtait@alcse.org, or call Daniel Tait at 256-812-1431.

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