By 2040, world population is expected to reach 9.2 billion people, up from 7.4 billion today. Over that same period, global GDP will likely double; billions of people are expected to join the global middle class.
Rising living standards for expanding populations worldwide mean a dependence on reliable modern energy. The global energy demand is expected to rise by about 25 percent by the year 2040. That is roughly equivalent to adding another North America and Latin America to the world’s current energy demand.
To accommodate this unprecedented growth, the citizens of the world will need to be prepared. Who will make critical decisions regarding energy generation and energy use? Today’s youth represent the future of energy efficiency. How can we prepare them to address the inherent complexities of building our energy future? The answer is simple: by presenting our students with a solid foundation based on the education they need to make informed decisions.
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So, what is the optimal age to begin this education? Although all ages are appropriate, the fifth grade is an ideal starting point. In the fifth grade, most students have succeeded in learning to read and are now reading to learn – and they’re excited about it. When quality student programs present academically rich, STEM-based, non-fiction literature, teachers are equally excited, and ready to share these STEM-based programs with their students.
A recent study conducted by Lee Ann Heald of The Shelton Group showed this:
Over one-third of Americans were encouraged successfully by someone else to become more environmentally friendly or adopt a new sustainable habit. The strongest influence on sustainable behavior was encouragement from children/grandchildren. In fact, kids had a stronger impact on respondents than seeing others they admire making changes or getting encouragement from friends.
Educating students results in the logarithmic effect of educating other generations as well. Protecting the future of energy use and energy efficiency is best addressed by educating our youth. Invest in education now and the result will be sustainable behavior change and informed decisions for the world of today and tomorrow.
To learn more about how Franklin Energy can work with your utility to educate today’s youth on the importance of energy efficiency, schedule a meeting with an expert today!
Ed.D: Education Director
Diane Sumner is a born educator. Since transitioning from the classroom to the boardroom, she has refined and helped develop educational content to support individual State Academic Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the global expectations of STEM. As Franklin Energy's Education Director, Diane represents the voice of participating and potential teachers and school districts across the country. Sumner received her Bachelor of Arts in History/Pre-Law with Minors in Spanish, English and ESL. After achieving a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and a second Master’s degree in Language Acquisition, she went on to receive an Education Doctorate in Higher Education Adult Learning.