Till recently, Renewable Energy education had been imparted at a post graduate level. The education was extremely specialized. As the field grew and Renewable installations sprung up all across the globe, courses on Renewable Energy were made available at graduate level.
The nature of renewable energy technology goes hand in hand with concepts of sustainability. And sustainability is not just a field but a way of life. It is therefore imperative that the concepts of sustainability are fostered at an early age. Imparting Renewable energy education in schools is therefore the natural progression for this technology.
With the world getting more and more immersed in consumerism, it is certain that the there will be a collision between, those who would like to act in favor of sustainability and those who would like to maintain the status-quo. A capitalist system requires constant growth. And growth and sustainability are often at logger-heads with each other. Exploitation of natural resources in recent times has been exponential and at a rate that that has over-taken natural replenishment.
There are three steps to educating pupils in schools on the topic of renewable energy.
- Educating the Staff
- Creating Curriculum
- Buying lab/ demonstration equipment
Lets examine these steps in detail
1. Staff Training
Most staff members and particularly members of the science faculty would be already aware about renewable energy. There are many reports and featured articles on Renewable energy technology that are published almost on daily basis. Nonetheless, there would still be several staff members for which training would be required. This training can be given through online courses. There are websites like Udemy, Skill share and Coursera which have courses on Renewable Energy. Some of them are even free.
2. Creating Curriculum
Creating content and contextualizing science syllabus to address renewable can be challenging but not impossible. The challenge is in making concepts understandable and easily digestible. One must start with fundamental principals. Renewable Energy Technology can be roughly broken into two parts. One part deals with renewable resource which is in tune with learning more about nature (solar resource, wind resource and wave resource etc). The second part of the subject deals with the machines. It covers the prime movers that harness energy.
Curriculum in schools can cover both i.e Renewable resource and the Renewable Energy machines.
3. Demonstration Equipment
There are a variety of demonstration equipment available. In fact demonstration kits can also be made at schools by the pupils themselves. Plans for creating renewable energy projects can be accessed form the following link.
There are renewable energy toys available at local electronic stores like Maplin and Radio shack. These include solar powered cars, wind turbine that can power up small radios or LED lights. There are also hydrogen powered, fuel cell based cars. These demonstration equipment/toys can be purchased for as low as 20 USD.
It is not necessary that only physical equipment is bought. If there are budget limitations than software are available that will help impart renewable energy education. This link has information on renewable energy resources for children on the internet.
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