Read about Rachael’s experience teaching seven year olds about saving energy:
For the past few months Eileen and I have focused on scheduling and giving educational presentations to students. We have presented to 11th and 12th grade physics students about the importance of energy efficiency and basic concepts of renewable energy. We have also presented to high school students of all ages about renewable energy applications. We even presented to some of the brightest middle school math students in the state about the importance and relevance of math in renewable energy concepts. With all these presentations under our belt we still were not prepared for what was about to come of our next presentation.
Next on our presentation schedule was a 2nd grade class at West Elementary and boy were Eileen and I nervous. That’s right, we have knocked out plenty of high school and middle school presentations, but the presentation that scared me the most was to nineteen 2nd graders. The high school and middle school presentations came naturally to me, but conveying energy efficiency concepts in ways 7 year old kids can understand really challenged me. Not to mention this presentation meant Eileen and I had to come up with a new presentation method. After a few days of deliberation, planning, and prepping Eileen and I felt as ready as we could be for this presentation.
The day of the presentation arrived and as Eileen and I walked into the classroom I saw some incredibly well behaved 2nd graders. We talked to the kids about saving energy and proceeded to play some energy efficiency games. Once the class was coming to an end we asked all the students to draw us a picture of one way to save energy. These pictures were our change in knowledge and probably the cutest change in knowledge I have ever seen. We handed out pinwheels to every student and before we even had a chance to say goodbye we were bombarded with a hug and a thank you from every student. It was a great end to the day that I initially was terrified of and as it turns out the presentation I feared most was the one I most enjoyed.
Rachael Bramblett studied at Appalachian State University and is well versed on topics of sustainable development, wind power, micro-hydro, photovoltaic, solar thermal, biofuels, and sustainable/green building design. Rachael has provided renewable energy and energy efficiency education through public outreach during her term of service. Additionally, she has installed light weatherization kits in several hundred homes across the state of Montana.