Energy education has a powerful part to play in 5-14 environmental studies. A new resource guide launched by the Aberdeen Environmental Education Centre during national energy week, in May, promises to light up an array of cross-curricular ideas.
Energy Zone, available in printed and electronic form, has been developed to help teachers plan an imaginative energy education programme using local and national resources, ranging from projects and outreach programmes to websites and catalogues of teaching materials.
The ideas are linked to social subjects, science, technology and the expressive arts. They suggest interesting ways to find out about energy conservation, efficient forms of energy production, the environmental impact of energy production, and the properties and use of energy, conversion and transfer of energy.
The long list of agencies and individuals who have contributed ideas and information includes teachers and curriculum support officers, Aberdeen University, the Montgomery Development Education Centre, Satrosphere, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, Scarf (Save Cash And Reduce Fuel), and the Department of Trade and Industry.
One agency that has an unusual role in energy education is the travelling drama company Live Wire Productions, whose programme of lively interactive schools presentations includes several relating to energy. Lights Out?, for example, features a class teacher getting a gentle ticking off from a janitor about energy inefficiencies in the classroom. This is designed to pave the way for a school energy audit by the children.
Energy Zone has been developed from an earlier AEEC resource guide, which subsequently was adapted by the Centre for Research, Education and Training in Energy to support the national curriculum in England and Wales.
Morag MacLellan, the acting depute headteacher at Cults Primary in Aberdeen, says: "As an Eco School and a participant in the WWF Scotland's Global Footprint pilot, we are working closely with our local secondary, Cults Academy, to widen our approach to energy education. Energy Zone should help us take a big step forward in our planning.
"From what I've seen so far, it's a good resource, providing valuable links, and I think it will save us a lot of work."
Energy Zone has been distributed free to all Aberdeen schools.
Available for pound;15 from Aberdeen Environmental Education Centre, tel 01224 640864, email firstname.lastname@example.org energyzonef.htm