THE EVOLUTION OF ENERGY AND ITS IMPACT ON THE WORLD

Do you believe everything you read in the news about the energy industry? How do you know if it’s accurate or not? For teachers, gathering relevant energy information is challenging as textbooks are often outdated, and the news varies from trustworthy journalism to fake news. I recall reviewing and being frustrated with school questions my son showed me as the bias was profound. I learned afterwards that the teacher formed the questions from what she found in a heavily biased news article. Unfortunately, there are many of these stories as this has been happening for years. Balancing energy and the environment is an important issue, so the need for current energy-related education materials is vital. In 2019, five individuals joined forces to fill this gap where materials are lacking and to support our teachers with unbiased resources. We owe it to our students, our future generation.

With a passion for the environment and combined energy expertise, these five individuals founded the Energy Ecosystem. Collaborating and challenging each other to create neutral, non-partisan energy information, so students are better educated regarding energy to make informed decisions around the difficult balance between energy choices, quality of life, and the environment. The team is collaborating with professionals across the entire energy ecosystem and education experts to develop a free and easy-to-use program teachers can access.

Currently, the information is aimed at high school students as decision-making increases when they move into their adult lives. These decisions may include their career path, vehicle purchase, buying or renting a house, and so many more consumerism choices.

The Evolution of Energy and its Impact on the World, is part of a planned series of videos and supporting learning materials. This unbiased information helps students think critically about important issues like balancing access to energy to advanced quality of life, while also protecting the environment and what students can do to shape the future of our energy ecosystem.

The video launched in February 2021, and the feedback from teachers and industry has been overwhelmingly positive. Interestingly, many people, even in the energy industry, thought it was a great refresher in enhancing their education around the history of energy. This 10-minute video focuses on the history of energy, the connection to globalization, the pros and cons of 10 different energy sources, and the importance of the energy mix.

What’s coming next – Energy and the surprising role in our lives. This second video and curriculum-aligned teaching materials will depict how energy is inextricably linked to countless aspects of our lives. Future topics may include where energy comes from, the impact of energy on the economy, balancing energy and the environment, and climate change.

Energy Ecosystem, led by volunteers, relies on sponsorship to keep the momentum of engaging students in one of the most significant challenges of our times – meeting the growing demand for energy while at the same time addressing environmental concerns. We are continuing with high school students and plan to expand into other age groups. While this program and materials originated in Canada, it is adaptable to other Englishspeaking countries.

Overall, students (our future) need to be better informed of the energy industry to make informed choices. Energy Ecosystem, registering as a nonprofit organization, focuses on short videos popular with youth, accompanied by curriculum-connected teaching materials that support teachers.

Coral Lukaniuk is co-founder of Energy Ecosystem and owner of coRoc Solutions, a program creation and engagement consultancy. For more information on the Energy Ecosystem initiative, visit energyecosystem.ca or contact info@energyecosystem.ca.

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