Experiencing Renewable Energies: powerado-plus
Between January and June 2010, Stephanie Schlegel, Katharina Umpfenbach and Camilla Bausch from the Ecologic Institute lectured 14 seminars about how to teach about renewable energy in school classes. The lectures were part of the research project "Powerado plus" that aims to further qualify future teachers with regard to general knowledge about renewables as well as about methodologies such as experiments that help to discuss this issue in schools. The Powerado project was selected as an official project for the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development for 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. In December 2009, the follow up project "Powerado plus" was awarded the first prize within the contest “Best examples of Berlin research projects”.
The joint project "Experiencing Renewable Energies – powerado plus" is doing research on new methods on how to inspire the interest of children, adolescents and teachers for renewable energy, and to expand their understanding of the topic. Ecologic Institute is taking part in the module “Renewable Energy Practical Seminars,” which will take place via 50 lectures given throughout Germany at different schools training future teachers, and instruct them on how to cover the topic of renewable energy in primary education.
To anchor the basic concepts of renewable energy into the primary education of children, Ecologic Institute will work with the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT), the "Independent Institute for Environmental Concerns (UfU)" and the association "Solar future". In support thereof, two-hour seminars with supportive materials for four different topic areas were developed ranging from lectures about the societal dimensions of renewables to lectures on the use of renewable energy experiments for the illustration in school classes.
The seminars were planned to be conducted between 2009 and 2012 throughout Germany. Due to the success and high demand all seminars were already booked out in 2010. All seminar materials and presentations are available for download. Moreover, during the project a newsletter will be distributed every six months to inform participants about new education materials from the Ministry for the Environment and the powerado-Team. The overarching goal is the qualification of approximately 1,000 future primary school teachers in topics concerning renewable energy and the dissemination of the Ministry of Environment’s educational material.
The powerado project and the follow up project powerado plus have received many awards: For the years 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 it was selected as an official project for the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development . In December 2009 powerado plus project, including the renewable energy seminars was awarded with the first price of the contest “Best examples of Berlin research projects”.