*SCHOOL OF ENERGY RESOURCES/WYOMING GEOGRAPHIC ALLIANCE
Geographic literacy as it pertains to energy extraction and energy dependence is crucial to decision- makers mapping the future of the state of Wyoming, the United States and the world. This geographic literacy is also central to the ability of American decision-makers to maintain the country’s political and economic leadership in a world of complex cultural and environmental relationships. Energy education plays an important role in these decisions.
Critical natural resources vital to all of us are not distributed equitably across the Earth’s surface. Wyoming has a major role in the provision of natural resources to the United States and beyond and our educators need to understand the importance of Energy education in order to pass this information on to Wyoming students to ensure they are informed citizens of the state, country and world. Decisions about Wyoming’s energy resources are complicated matters with no easy solutions. There are important spatial and environmental aspects to these vital economic and political policy decisions.
Geography prepares students to understand the complexities of environmental and societal issues. It is not just a “science class.” Our daily lives are interwoven with geography. Each of us lives in a unique place in constant interaction with our surroundings. Geographic knowledge and skills are essential for us to understand the activities and patterns of our lives and the lives of others. Geographic knowledge and understanding is fundamental to reaching the goals of attaining a higher quality of life.
The institute will incorporate discussions relating Energy to the Wyoming Social Studies Standards. Field trips to energy developments will be included. After hearing from experts in the field, teachers will be given time to develop and present lessons appropriate for their grade level utilizing the large floor map of Wyoming. The focus of the lessons will be Energy. The lesson plans will be posted on the WGA website.
Teachers may receive three Continuing Education credits from the State Department of Education or may chose to receive three graduate credit hours for the forty-five contact hours in the five day Energy Institute. Participating teachers will return to their districts as WGA Teacher Consultants and conduct workshops for their district teachers. Thus WGA will be confident that the benefits of the institute will be shared with other teachers and students across Wyoming. If this pilot institute is successful, it could be offered to other Wyoming school districts in future summer institutes.
Participating districts will be asked to form teams of two to three teachers. The team MUST include a fourth grade teacher, and/or one middle school teacher and one high school teacher. Therefore, teams may be composed of two or three teachers. There is a required $100.00 deposit to reserve each teacher’s membership of the team. It may be paid by the district or the teacher personally. It will be refunded upon each teacher’s completion of the institute. Personal or district checks will be accepted.