October is National Energy Awareness Month, which serves to underscore how critical energy is to our prosperity, security, and environmental well-being. Throughout the month of October, TDEC’s Office of Energy Programs will highlight a variety of case studies and tips to promote energy conservation, resiliency, and smart energy management. Through these efforts, we rededicate ourselves to a more conscious use of energy, so that we can continue to strive for a cleaner, stronger, and more secure future.
One of the steps to ensuring a more energy conscious society is educating our students so that they are aware of the ways in which energy can be generated, transmitted, and distributed, but also the ways in which it can be utilized more efficiently. With a basic understanding of energy, individuals and communities can make more informed decisions on topics ranging from smart energy use at home to energy policy.
Energy is an inherently interdisciplinary topic. Concepts fundamental to understanding energy arise in nearly all, if not all, academic disciplines. Because of this, teachers can incorporate energy awareness into their lesson plans in a variety of ways, taking creative approaches to spread energy literacy amongst their students.
The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project is dedicated to promoting an energy conscious and educated society by creating effective networks of students, educators, business, government and community leaders to design and deliver objective, multi-sided energy education programs. The NEED Project’s educator network includes over 65,000 classrooms nationwide who use NEED’s annually up-dated curriculum materials.
TDEC OEP is the state coordinator for the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project in Tennessee. NEED works with energy companies, agencies, and organizations to bring balanced energy programs to the nation’s schools with a focus on strong teacher professional development, timely and balanced curriculum materials, signature program capabilities and turn-key program management.
For the annual NEED Youth Awards for Energy Achievement competition, schools combine their energy education activities for the year and submit an electronic scrapbook of their efforts. State winners are selected and submitted for judging at the national level. Since the program’s inception, Tennessee has always had national winners.
This year, OEP selected the following schools as State NEED Project winners:
- Lipscomb Academy Elementary School (State Primary School of the Year)
- Michie Elementary School (State Elementary School of the Year)
- Volunteer High School (State Senior Rookie of the Year)
- Fayette Academy (State Senior School of the Year)
NEED announced the 2016 national award winners and finalists on May 2, 2016. Lipscomb Academy Elementary School won the National Primary School of the Year award, Michie Elementary School was named National Elementary Runner Up, Volunteer High School won the National Senior Rookie of the Year award and Fayette Academy won the National Senior School of the Year award.
Congratulations to all of Tennessee’s energy conscious students and teachers! For more information on the NEED Project, visit http://tn.gov/environment/article/energy-need.