As energy demands surge on a global scale, the importance of renewable energy has never been greater. High school students now have an opportunity to learn about the most common forms of renewable energy—sunlight captured from solar panels, wind energy generated by wind turbines, and hydroelectric power obtained from dams and turbines—and make a positive impact on the world. In this post, we will share some renewable energy teaching resources we recommend to teach high school students about this topic.
Renewable Energy Career Opportunities
Renewable energy jobs and the green economy are growing, and there are many career paths for students that cater to various education levels. For example, high school graduates can get jobs installing solar panels, and associate's degree holders can become environmental engineering technicians.
States like Massachusetts are supporting schools teaching students to be prepared for jobs in renewable energy. For example, the Innovation Pathways program in Massachusetts gives grants to high schools for offering programs relevant to local in-demand industries. Clean energy was recently added as a pathway due to its growth in the area. Any Massachusetts comprehensive high school can apply to offer Innovation Pathways programs to its students!
Renewable Energy Teaching Resources: What to Look For
It can be overwhelming teaching a new topic or bringing new teaching ideas into the classroom, but we have some tips for what to look out for when selecting new renewable energy teaching resources:
When introducing something new in the classroom, the biggest demotivator is spending too much time figuring out how to use the technology. You'll get frustrated as the teacher and your students will become disengaged. Find equipment that is easy for you and your students to use and look for opportunities to get training to get the most out of it, which AET Labs provides to teachers in New England.
Unfortunately, students have short attention spans, so you will want to find equipment they can interact with, whether through an online learning platform or by using their hands to experiment and see results up close.
3. Real-world applications
High school students will benefit most from equipment and technology replicating real-world experiences. Sometimes, you can even use the same equipment in the classroom that professionals use in the field.
Essential Equipment for Teaching Renewable Energy
We've compiled technology and equipment we recommend using to teach your high school students about renewable energy from Festo Didactic, a trusted partner to AET Labs. Festo Didactic is the education division of Festo Automation, a worldwide leader in automation technology. Their line of training equipment replicates what is used in the industry, with a focus on the electrical engineering needed to power and maintain renewable energy sources.
Festo LX is their digital learning platform, which has a comprehensive collection of renewable energy courses that students can learn at their own pace. When the online courses are paired with Festo's training equipment, students get a hands-on experience that prepares them for technical careers. Festo LX has options to teach foundational electrical engineering concepts and then transition to more technical training on installing, operating, and maintaining renewable energy systems.
Teaching Foundational Electrical Engineering Concepts
Here are some examples of the foundational electrical engineering concepts that will help students better understand the more technical renewable energy systems.
- Industrial Wiring
- Fluid Power
- Electricity Basics
- Motors and Drives
Festo LX online courses align with each of these topics and come with training equipment for students to get hands-on experience to help them master these skills.
Teaching Renewable Energy Systems
Once students have a handle on the foundational electrical engineering concepts, it will be easier for them to learn how renewable energy systems work. Festo offers online courses and training systems on the following renewable energy sources:
Additional Renewable Energy Teaching Resources
To introduce your students to renewable energy before they get into learning through courses and equipment, here are some engaging 101 videos to share with them:
Renewable energy provides students interested in electrical engineering with impactful career paths, whether they are going into the workforce right after high school graduation or pursuing further education at the associate's or bachelor's level.
Reach out to AET Labs to find out how to incorporate Festo's renewable energy training systems into your curriculum and receive free guidance on applying for the new Clean Energy Innovation Pathway in Massachusetts.