Work starts on new energy curriculum

Nov 4, 2013 The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- Preliminary work has begun on a program that will teach Wyoming youngsters about energy development and natural resources in their state.

The Legislature approved the energy and natural resources education program last winter. The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance got a $75,000 state grant two months ago to recommend how to further develop and fund the program.

A report is due to the governor's office and state lawmakers next month.

The program will teach children at potentially all grade levels about Wyoming's coal, oil, gas, uranium and renewable energy industries, as well as about Wyoming's natural resources. Schools will be able to use the program as they see fit -- it will be up to educators whether to adopt the curriculum.

The program will align with the state's state science teaching standards and encourage critical thinking skills while teaching a "balanced approach to energy and natural resource development, use and stewardship," according to the legislation.

Kids will participate in related activities both in and out of the classroom and learn firsthand from experts in energy development and natural resources.

While the program will play a role in learning during school hours, the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance has experience bringing together schools, nonprofits and others. The Lander-based alliance promotes after-school programs that boost learning and help keep kids out of trouble. It was the only group to apply for the contract.

Since getting the contract, the alliance has been holding focus group meetings around Wyoming.

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