SEA’s Chairman, Scott Tinker, spoke to over 300 Advanced Placement Environmental Science (APES) high school teachers on June 4, 2019. The teachers were in Cincinnati to grade the APES exam. The overarching theme of Scott’s talk was the importance of critical thinking when considering energy issues. Scott also discussed: (i) energy poverty and how it impacts all of us; (ii) the current energy mix; (iii) energy and the environment; (iv) the pros and cons of all forms of energy; and (v) the Switch Classroom, an interactive film-based educational program for teachers to learn and educate their students.
Based on SEA’s recent educator survey and website analytics, we know that thousands of teachers use SEA materials in their classrooms. The Switch documentary is an excellent introduction to the topic of energy, and the Switch Energy Labs, Primers and 101’s, housed on SEA’s website, align closely with the energy unit of the APES course.
This year 180,000 high school students took the APES exam in order to earn college credit, and thousands more take the APES course but not the exam. The APES course is an ideal opportunity to build on the success of teachers who already use Switch and the existing Switch Energy Project materials. We have formed a national Teacher Advisory Council and are deeply engaged with APES teachers nationwide.
SEA is on the forefront of the migration away from textbooks and towards digital and film-based educational resources. Non-partisan digital energy education is profoundly needed, and SEA’s web-served energy course material is accessible, engaging, entertaining, non-partisan and available. This AP high school course should serve as a template for development of other K-12 courses and a full semester, undergraduate university course.
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