OREEP Teacher Workshop
The Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council fulfilled a major part of its mission this week. OREEP (the Oklahoma Renewable Energy Education Program) held their first ever teacher workshop. The goal of OREEP is to get renewable energy curriculum into the classroom. They're achieving the goal by giving renewable energy kits to teachers and instructing them how to educate their students on the subject using STEM principles.
Part of the goal of OREEP was to help balance out the education on energy in our primary and secondary schools here in Oklahoma. Currently, energy education is dominated by OERB. Their big budget allows them to provide much needed supplies, curriculum and lesson plans to Oklahoma teachers. Armed with what some might call oil and gas propaganda, the teachers are sent back into the classroom with the materials at hand. It is not misinformation being taught; in fact, it is great material being distributed by OERB! The problem, in my opinion, is the lack of balance and the gaps in the material. Renewable energy isn't mentioned once in any of OERB's materials - teaching energy without mentioning renewables in 2018 is just irresponsible. Hopefully, OREC and OREEP can help fill the gap!
The first teacher workshop included 10 teachers from the metro area, from various grade levels. They were each given a tub of materials including functional solar cells, wind turbines, fans, batteries and other supplies to fully demonstrate how renewable energy works in a hands-on way.
The teachers gave great feedback on how it could be improved, and OREEP is looking to expand in the future. They won a grant from the Kirkpatrick Foundation, which should provide great future funding to expand their efforts.
For any interested educators, please contact OREC for more information at OREC2006@gmail.com