A good energy community doesn’t only have technological and economic challenges, but also educational challenges. Next generations must be aware about renewable energy, energy consumption and climate change. In order to reach this goal we need new educational materials for educators, schools and libraries.
The future that awaits us if we do not redirect our energy needs to renewable energy, is worrying: we are expected to experience rising temperatures, extreme climate events like heat waves and hurricanes, rising sea levels and more concerning changes. But this future being predicted will be lived in by our children today.
Therefore, kids need to learn about renewable energy practices which could potentially rescue their future. They can grow up with these practices, as opposed to adults who have to adapt. For this reason, one of the key responsibilities of this generation is to educate the next: we have to prevent them from making the same mistakes of the past generations, giving them instruments to reach the goal of a carbon neutral society.
There is another good reason that supports the importance of education: research shows that when kids learn about climate change, parents become more climate concerned. Educating children about climate change will have a ripple effect on the energy practices of their family and community.
A good energy community doesn’t have only technological and economic challenges but also educational challenges. One of the goals of the Pilastro-Roveri energy community is to co-create with local educators innovative teaching activities about conscious energy consumption, renewable energy, sustainability and climate change, that will be available for local schools, associations and libraries.
Today in Italy we have a good experience about environmental education, but the offer specific on energy related topics can be improved. The challenge is to find new ideas for these educational materials.
What kind of instruments do educators need in order to teach new generations about renewable energy, conscious energy consumption and climate change?
Ideas could focus on:
- A guide for children that explains how different habits can have an impact in reducing or increasing energy consumption.
- An individual or a group activity in which kids gain new knowledge about what it’s like to live without access to electricity.
- An individual or a group activity in which kids learn where the sun is in relation to themselves, how the sun feels, that it produces energy and that we can use that energy through solar technology.
- A board game set in 2030 that tries to predict the future of our society.
- A solar-powered toy as an accessible introduction to the benefits of solar power and sustainable energy.