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Energy Education in Oklahoma


Elementary Energy Education in Oklahoma

What exactly are our children being taught about energy in public schools today?  It is summer right now, but several organizations are working to get new curriculum into Oklahoma schools this fall.  A recent article written in conjunction with State Impact Oklahoma (a public radio collaboration focused on energy, the environment and the economy) cites several reasons for renewable energy advocates to be concerned.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.  The article is very well written, and completely worth your time.

The article focuses on the Oklahoma Energy Resource Board, an oil & gas industry-funded group that spends half their budget on energy education (OERB website states that they provide curricula, free training, materials, educational trips and in-class presentations). The authors, Joe Wertz and Jie Jenny Zou, reveal how OERB is using their extensive resources to advance particular views through the educational materials they produce and distribute to Oklahoma classrooms. These materials focus on the pros of petroleum products, while choosing to exlude unflattering information about the industry.  They also choose not to include information about renewable and sustainable energy, energy efficiency or other complimentary technologies.  

OREC views this as a gap in Oklahoma children's education.  Our organization is currently active in developing new curriculum and getting educational materials and activities into the hands of teachers and students that will fill this gap.  We are working on two paths, and are actively seeking other ways to get involved and collaborate with others with a similar mission.  The first path is through the Oklahoma Green Schools Program (CLICK HERE to visit their website).  Last year at the Green Schools Summit (their major annual event) dozens of schools presented their class projects focused on "green ideas."  None of those projects touched on renewable energy, energy efficiency or other complimentary technologies.  Next year, through OREC volunteer's time and energy, we hope to help one or more schools do a yearlong project on one of these concepts.  






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