Every Canadian should know how energy is produced, transported and used. But the Canadian energy landscape is vast, complex and ever-changing.
Helping to address that education challenge is the Energy IQ program, a partnership between Canadian Geographic Education and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).
Originally launched in 2012, the program is designed to deliver integrated, bilingual outreach and education to increase Canadians’ energy literacy through Canadian Geographic Education, an authoritative third-party information source. Energy IQ reaches more than 21,000 teachers across the country, and focuses on energy production, distribution, consumption and conservation, framed within the larger context of global energy. The program’s goal is to ensure the next generation of Canadians is energy-literate, and future dialogues about energy can be informed, constructive, respectful and engaging. It’s especially important to have engaging, factual content available for online learning in the current pandemic environment.
Energy IQ program overview
The Energy IQ website is the program’s central hub and has become a valued tool for learning about Canada’s dynamic energy landscape, exploring energy topics and accessing useful learning resources ranging from short videos to regional fact books, lesson plans, infographics and maps including a giant floor map that can be sent to individual schools (or other locations such as businesses) for temporary assembly and use.
Based in part on feedback from teachers, the website was revamped in 2020 and now offers improved interactivity, content sharing, and a terrific new interactive energy map. Better engagement provides a better user experience that encourages deeper exploration and discovery.
Some of the function improvements include the ability to search for resources based on specific criteria such as resource type (fact book, lesson plan, map, video), classroom level (elementary, intermediate, secondary) and energy type (hydroelectricity, crude oil, natural gas, coal, wind, nuclear, solar, biomass or tidal).
Maps: excellent teaching tools
A central feature of the program has been a giant floor map that helps students explore Canada’s energy story, highlighting where energy is produced and how it’s moved and delivered. Students learn about the often-unseen energy distribution systems that play such a big part in our daily lives through engaging, teacher-led activities. At 11 by 8 metres in size, the map can be booked online and shipped to schools and comes with props, teacher guides and lesson plans. The updated website includes a new ‘tiled’ floor map, a great alternative to the giant map. The tiled version is intended to serve as a classroom tool and as a give-away for participants at conferences, workshops and other events.