Overview

Ambition: To build the human capital that is required for Alberta to be home to the most innovative, entrepreneurial, and responsible energy citizens, as described in our 2050 Vision.

There are over 700,000 students in Alberta’s K– 12 schools – and their current energy literacy is alarmingly low. It is essential that they understand the fascinating science – and social science – surrounding current and future energy development and use in this province. The current conversation is positional and often not constructive. How can we help to depolarize the energy conversation, given its importance to our future?

This initiative leverages the EFL’s collective network, knowledge, and credibility to provide recommendations for energy literacy for Alberta’s K – 12 curriculum, building off the work of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education’s (ACEE) Curriculum for a Sustainable Future and “What should Alberta students learn about Energy?”.

ACEE has found some truly remarkable evidence on how to best engage students in learning about – and acting on – climate, through the polling of 500 Alberta youth, and conducting focus groups with over 170 Alberta students. The initiative will communicate ongoing findings to teachers and key decision-makers to advocate for the need to have more climate, energy, and environmental education in Alberta classrooms.

Challenges

Over the next 3.5 years of its tenure, the new government, through Alberta Education, is poised to deliver new curriculum in ALL core subject areas, from Kindergarten through Grade 12 – and Education Minister Adriana LaGrange has already invited ACEE to work with her staff on this file. We’ll use the following approaches to show curriculum designers how they can create responsible energy citizens and the human capital we’ll need through including key energy, environmental, and climate concepts in new curriculum:

Initiative Status

Through this initiative, a group of Lab Fellows will engage with the education community –
including curriculum developers – to…

  • Identify the key competencies of energy and environmentally literate students – and translate that into the ‘learning outcomes’ that curriculum designers use. Our focusing question: What should Alberta students learn in order to increase their energy and environmental literacy?’
  • Prototype simulation activities to more deeply engage students, helping students think critically and better understand the issues and trade-offs that arise from key energy, environmental, and societal questions. This is the all-important ‘proof of concept’ that helps assure curriculum developers that kids can learn this stuff in classrooms
  • Connect classrooms to energy, environment, and climate professionals
  • Showcase exciting energy innovations (some of them created by the EFL) to teachers and students, continuing the work we began in May 2019 at the Recharge conference, where we connected teachers to EFL fellows
  • Support and invest in teacher professional learning to galvanize this process