Originally appears in the Summer 2011 issue
How can teachers and environmental educators broach the overarching issue of global climate change in such a way that students are empowered to do something about it, rather than becoming despondent? What are the basic understandings that young people need in order to generate their own renewable energy and cut down on greenhouse gases?
Every day, the solution shines down upon us and blows in on the wind. Understanding how the immensely powerful forces of nature work, and knowing how to use them for generating renewable energy, are keys for unlocking young minds and energizing youth toward action. I developed the Kids’ Power Program so that youth can have fun while generating and storing renewable energy that they can use in everyday life.
This subject is a natural entry point for getting kids excited about physical forces and electricity. After presenting my program to classes of 6th graders in Connecticut recently, the students started coming into class eager to power up using their own original inventions for mini-wind turbines.
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Michael J. Caduto is an environmental educator, ecologist and the co-author of the landmark Keepers of the Earth® series. Apart from Catch the Wind, his recent other book is Riparia’s River (Tilbury House). Learn more about his programs at www.p-e-a-c-e.net.