Theater Helps Kids Understand Clean Energy

Electricity is a form of energy made with resources, and both renewable and non-renewable resources are used to produce electricity. These are simple concepts, but critical ones for today’s students to grasp in meeting the challenges of the future–and a recent study suggests that live theater, combined with a science-based energy curriculum, may be an effective way to accomplish this.

Research Into Action (RIA), an independent research company specializing in energy issues, recently studied students who received an integrated, multi-platform curriculum developed by The National Theatre for Children (NTC) in five states throughout the Tennessee Valley that is called Energized Guyz.  This kindergarten through ninth grade curriculum consists of a live performance, classroom exercises, and homework assignments designed to teach students how energy is produced and steps they can take to reduce energy consumption.

Energized Guyz

image via National Theater for Children

The results of this multi-year study are still coming in, but preliminary results show students exposed to the NTC curriculum testing significantly higher in their understanding of both resources and renewable resources, including hydro power, than they did prior to the program. Test scores in all grade levels spiked after students received the theatre performance and curriculum.

“Live theater is a powerful teaching tool, especially when integrated with student workbooks, in-class discussion and homework assignments that engage parents,” said Ward Eames, president of NTC, in a statement. “Even young students can understand that they have energy choices.  And the younger they begin learning, the more likely students will retain these concepts through their life.”

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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