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Energy Education Programs (Texas, USA)

Energy Education is an interactive curriculum supplement on CD for secondary-school science students, funded by the U. S. Department of Energy and the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO). The educational program built around this material strives to lay the foundation for environmental stewardship in teachers and students though critical thinking and problem-solving.

The supplement begins by introducing scientific principles of energy and fuels, and then proceeds to investigate specific topics: the nature and extent of renewable and nonrenewable energy resources, the economics and environmental effects of energy use, and energy technology.

Energy Education has 34 activities/investigations, including two web-based lessons and one interactive Flash-based investigation. The approach balances technology and hands-on activities. Multiple electronic resources are used to help teachers meet the Texas Education Agency's Long-Range Plan for Technology and advanced students' learning needs, clarify and extend concepts, establish partnerships with local businesses and community organizations, and help integrate TEKS into computer-based classroom activities.

More than half of the lessons include hands-on scientific investigations. This is the preferred approach in Texas schools. Texas law requires high-school science students to spend at least 40 percent of their instructional time conducting field and laboratory investigations. The Texas Education Agency also recommends this approach for middle-school science courses.