PLUGGED IN KIDS
Websites inspire kids to “switch on” to energy efficiency
Getting children excited about energy efficiency can be tough, but several websites have been designed with your energy savers in mind.
Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, the brand “ID” of the nation’s not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative, offers Touchstone Energy Kids Zone (www.touchstoneenergykids.com) featuring a spunky energy efficiency mascot. CFL Charlie. The site is designed to teach children in kindergarten through fifth grade how to be Super Energy Savers in their homes. The site also includes interactive games, videos, and surprises. Through fun activities, students and their parents learn about renewable energy, electrical safety, and energy savings.
The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) uses Disney’s Tinker Bell character to encourage youngsters to use CFLs and energy saving smart power strips, as well as closing doors and turning off computers and gaming systems when not in use. This site can be accessed at www.energy.gov/tink.
The Alliance to Save Energy suggests that “super powers” may help combat low energy efficiency. Project Super Powers (www.projectsuperpowers.com) highlights videos of super heroes trying to use their abilities to save energy at home, often with embarrassing results. Children are encouraged to help by suggesting fictional super powers that might successfully reduce energy use.
ENERGYSTAR’s website for young people, www.energystar.gov, provides interactive ways to learn how to make small changes with a big impact. The site shows what items use power even when they’re not on and basic things like air leaks kids can find and help their parents fix.
For teachers, EERE offers lesson plans, science projects and more for students in all grades at www1.eere.energy.gov/education.