As part of its ongoing Energy IQ program, Canadian Geographic Education recently ran a series of online workshops for teachers across the country. The focus? A nuanced understanding of energy issues plus tips and tools for teaching students about energy.
In one workshop, a teacher noted her Grade 5 students are very concerned about climate change, convinced that Canada must switch immediately off fossil fuels to renewables only. Through the workshops and the Energy IQ program itself, teachers get information from experts on energy-related topics. Teachers are then equipped to provide a balanced perspective in their classrooms — highlighting the pros and cons of different energy sources, able to present energy-related issues with a clearer understanding, recognizing the role oil and natural gas play in Canada’s economy, and investigating timelines and consequences behind different energy choices.
What is Energy IQ?
Developed by Canadian Geographic Education in partnership with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Energy IQ delivers information on all types of energy, to increase Canadians’ understanding on energy sources and issues. The program is oriented to students and teachers but the website is engaging and factual with loads of videos, slides, factoids and maps. Energy IQ focuses on all forms of energy production, distribution, consumption and conservation, within the larger context of global energy.
A Valued Tool
Since its launch in 2012, Energy IQ has become a valued tool for exploring energy topics and accessing useful learning resources. The program has received numerous awards and testimonials from teachers, who appreciate the balanced, factual information on energy topics.
Adam Trider, formerly a high school science teacher in New Brunswick, is now with the Centre of Excellence for Energy within the province’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. He says, “I’m now helping develop curriculum for students from kindergarten to Grade 12, specifically about energy issues. We engage teachers to give them the resources to start building foundational knowledge about energy in Canada. Energy IQ is a great resource that provides balanced information, plus tools from the giant floor map to online quizzes and videos. It’s all meant to open eyes and minds to the complex nature of energy in Canada.”
Read more: VIDEO: Energy IQ on electricity innovation
New online workshops
Recently, Canadian Geographic Education offered six free online workshops to help teachers gain confidence in teaching about Canada’s complex energy landscape. The workshops covered a number of topics:
- Canada’s Energy Story – this workshop provided an overview of the Energy IQ program and its many resources.
- Energy IQ for Elementary and Secondary Classrooms – two separate workshops oriented to teaching energy-related topics to elementary and secondary level students.
- Connecting Energy and STEM – a workshop aimed at providing ways to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as possible career choices, and how STEM connects with complex energy issues and careers in the energy sector.
- Connecting Energy and the Economy – this workshop provided a basic understanding of how Canada’s energy sector plays a vital role in the country’s economy, including the how a complex supply chain network across Canada not only supports the industry but also provides economic benefits to every province in the country.
- Community Partnerships – the final workshop, hosted by three presenters with connections to Indigenous organizations, offered insights on Indigenous peoples’ engagement and connection with the energy industry.
Adam Trider comments, “Energy IQ creates learning opportunities for both teachers and students, in addition to a window on possible career options for students. It’s a good way to counter misinformation and start conversations.”
These workshops, facilitated by former teachers Sara Black, Manager, Education Programs and Dominique Patnaik, Education Program Co-ordinator, also referenced the many resources available to teachers on the Energy IQ website, such as lesson plans, videos, quizzes and fact books.
Whether you’re a student, teacher, or someone looking for information, it’s important to get the facts and a well-rounded perspective on energy issues. Although the energy landscape is vast, complex and ever-changing, Canadians of all ages can find credible information on energy issues from Canadian Geographic Education’s Energy IQ workshops and resources.