Energy Safe Kids (ESK) is an educational program dedicated to teaching K-12 students about natural gas and electrical safety. The National Energy Foundation (NEF) primarily delivers this program through the Academy of Natural Gas Education Program, a teacher directed materials fulfillment format. However, many utilities and municipalities also opt for NEF’s well-known classroom presentation model.
Students participate in natural gas safety education
This spring, news broke about two grade-school girls who participated in this exact classroom style natural gas safety presentation. During ESK presentations students review the uses of natural gas, its collection and transportation methods. Fourth and fifth graders also learn the potential dangers of natural gas, how to identify a natural gas leak, and what to do in these situations.
“They just talked to us about the natural gasses and what to do when you smell them, and they gave us scratch and sniffs, and then we realized the smell from those.” -Mackenzie, fifth grade student
Knowledge Retention and Application in natural gas safety
These two young students participated in the Energy Safe Kids natural gas safety education program during the fall semester. Four months later, in March, Mackenzie and Lili noticed the smell of rotten eggs while riding their bikes through the neighborhood. They had quickly remembered this is what they had learned about in school. The girls immediately rushed home to tell an adult.
NEF strives to incorporate the latest practices in education delivery for retention and application. When faced with a real time need for action the girls’ recalled the needed information.
Bringing the message from school to home
The adult the girls found was Mackenzie’s mom. She was very grateful for her daughter’s willingness to speak up. Together, they called the local utility.
With so many safety topics to discuss with K-12 students, it might be easy to overlook one or two at home, particularly natural gas. These students are at ages eager to help, showcasing their knowledge. Students become another person to notice a hazard or risk. School is a perfect place to bring awareness to natural gas safety, inspiring students to share safety concepts at home.
“Sometimes as a parent, we’re so wrapped up in life and other things, that it’s nice to have that second eye on things.” -student’s mom
Actionable results from the program, please the local utility. “It’s great news. To have the programs in the classrooms, and then have a tangible, measurable outcome from it. Certainly wonderful to hear.” -Dana Berkes, Public Affairs Manager, NIPSCO
The National Energy Foundation works with municipalities and utilities to deliver this message to students throughout the nation. If you’d like to know more about NEF’s Energy Safe Kids programs, reach out to [email protected]