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Empowering Young Minds: A Journey into Energy Justice at Bolton Academy Elementary School

By MyKale Clark

On January 26th and January 29th, I had the privilege of addressing two vibrant second-grade classes at Bolton Academy Elementary School, unraveling the complex concept of "What is Energy Justice." The sessions were not just educational but a thrilling exploration, where the young minds eagerly absorbed insights into energy equity through a trio of enlightening animation videos.

The first set of animations delved into the intricacies of recognitional, procedural, and distributive energy justice, emphasizing the importance of equity in the energy system's costs and benefits, social and economic participation, and addressing the burdens on disadvantaged groups. A concise 5-minute video, "What are the sources of Energy," covered the basics, including energy types, solar energy, laws of energy, turbine mechanics, and both renewable and non-renewable sources. Adding a touch of excitement, the students enjoyed an episode from the Magic School Bus, "Getting Energized," where problem-solving took center stage at the Walkersville carnival's Ferris Wheel.

Hands-on engagement was a key component, with students working on worksheets that involved a matching activity on energy resources and brainstorming ways to save energy. Our classroom also delved into the enlightening pages of "Georgia Study Weekly’s Newspapers," specifically "Getting What You Need and Want." This four-page newspaper offered valuable lessons on goods, services, pricing, and the real-world impact of energy costs, prompting insightful discussions on the challenges faced by some families.

As a thoughtful conclusion to our two-day exploration, the students took home two informative "Girl Plus Environment" infographics. The first, "7 ways to lower your energy bill," provided practical tips, while the second, "5 things to know about energy policy in GA," empowered them to share newfound knowledge with their families.

In steering this event, I had the privilege of contributing to the education of our future leaders—be they doctors, activists, policy makers, nurses, attorneys, or teachers. By presenting complex topics in a fun and engaging manner, I aimed not only to enrich their understanding but to inspire them to become ambassadors of energy justice. The hope is that, armed with knowledge, they'll continue educating their peers and families as they progress through elementary, middle school, high school, and beyond into college—a ripple effect of informed, empowered citizens shaping a future with energy justice at its core.


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