Institute for 21st Century Energy Raises Student’s Energy Awareness

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 8:00pm

New Energy Program to Reach Six Million Students, Parents and Teachers Nationwide this School Year

PITTSBURGH, PA—The Institute for 21st Century Energy (Energy Institute) today announced a nationwide education program aimed at educating middle school students about energy this school year. The program features a supplemental print and digital program on energy issues that aligns with science, math, and social studies curriculum and will reach an estimated 100,000 classrooms and up to six million students, parents, and teachers in all 50 states by the end of the school year. At the conclusion, students and teachers will have the opportunity to enter a nationwide contest to demonstrate their understanding of energy and newly learned skills.

Karen Harbert, the Energy Institute’s president and CEO, will launch this national initiative today at a middle school assembly near Pittsburgh, PA—the latest stop on the Energy Institute’s Energy Reality Tour. Pointing to a lack of available, content-rich materials for teachers and students on energy, Harbert will unveil new energy learning resources to 250 West Greene Middle-Senior high school students. Harbert will urge students, parents, and teachers to get “smart” on energy issues and to visit the program’s interactive website, hosted by, which will feature a wealth of facts, games, virtual field trips and teacher resources that will be updated throughout the school year.

“Now, more than ever, we must arm future generations with the skills and critical-thinking needed to plan for, build, and manage our country’s energy systems,” Harbert said. “By engaging today’s students at a time when our skilled energy workforce is aging and America’s global competitiveness is being challenged, we are really reaching tomorrow’s leaders with facts that we believe will empower them to take an active role in shaping America’s energy future.”

Titled “Shedding Light on Energy”, the Energy Institute program, created by Scholastic, was launched in response to a need for valuable energy resources for middle school science teachers and students. The Energy Institute found that much of the curriculum available to teachers was outdated or inadequate and that education on energy issues, so fundamental to our nation’s future, has become a low priority, often embedded in lessons related to civics, science, technology and geography.

”Shedding Light on Energy” is a three-pronged program that includes in-classroom materials, posters, teacher lessons plans, and student experiments and worksheets that will reach schools in October, January, and April; all lessons are based on government data sources, including the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Review. A dynamic online interactive website for students will also launch later this fall, along with a nationwide contest whose winners will be announced this spring.

The first set of materials will reach classrooms this week and will help teachers and students explore our nation’s energy sources and their uses, particularly for residential and transportation purposes. Future subjects that will be covered include how energy is transported to homes and businesses and a special focus on new and emerging technology. The online interactive website will give students the ability to tour an energy theme park filled with quizzes, maps, games, and an extensive set of energy resources. The students will get to meet energy professionals on line and hear about exciting future career opportunities. The nationwide contest will aim to challenge students to hone real-world skills to help them think critically about energy and make informed decisions.

The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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