Energy education made fun through LightWorks’ “Dr. Energy” Platform


The need for future innovators in the energy field is becoming increasingly important to our day and age. In August 2013, LightWorks and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University launched a platform aimed to encourage students and educators to become more involved in energy education. The “Ask an Energy Expert” program is an integral part of ASU’s “Ask An Expert” Program and is hosted by LightWorks. The Dr. Energy platform aims to bring awareness and clarity around energy topics for K-12 students and educators by offering a platform where users can submit questions that are answered by ASU faculty and researchers. Dr. Energy also launched a social media presence that provides a consistent stream of energy-related educational material, games, and news available online.

More than 30 years ago, President Jimmy Carter presented his “Address to the Nation” on Energy and National Goals which stressed the need for energy education in schools, a reduction of our dependence on fossil fuels, and an increase of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. This speech founded the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) which aims to provide a curriculum to teach educators and students about energy. NEED’s work also extends to professional development and training for school districts’ around the country interested in energy efficiency and new energy technologies, afterschool programs, student clubs, and more. The availability to access energy curriculum and resources online helps spread energy education to more classrooms increasing the potential for future energy leaders.

LightWorks’ Dr. Energy platform also intends to further energy education in the classroom by providing access to online resources and information. The sharing of energy-related online curriculum, classroom activities, puzzles, and games are distributed through the use of updates on Dr. Energy’s Facebook and Twitter platforms. To provide more specific information on energy topics, Dr. Energy can be accessed through a Q&A style. Through ASU’s “Ask An Energy Expert” website, students and educators can ask any energy-related questions by submitting them online and will receive answers from ASU energy experts in a 72 hour time frame. Questions can stem from technicalities such as “how do solar panels absorb energy from the sun?” to questions around the relationship between energy and the environment such as “why should we invest in clean energy?”. Dr. Energy aims to provide answers to questions that can be easily understood by a specific age group. The goal of Dr. Energy is to inspire students to become further interested and invested in energy systems as it is crucial to our changing world.

Arizona State University has met soaring success with its “Ask An Expert” program especially with its “Ask A Biologist” platform. “Ask A Biologist,” hosted by ASU’s Dr. Biology, has become an invaluable resource for teachers, students, and other curious minds. LightWorks aims for Dr. Energy to also become a useful resource for educators and students across the nation. Increasing interest in energy education from K-12 students is part of LightWorks’ overall effort to encourage research and development of energy solutions for the future. To submit a question to Dr. Energy click here. Below are the links to Dr. Energy’s social media platforms.

Dr. Energy Facebook:
Dr. Energy Twitter:

Written by Gabrielle Olson, ASU LightWorks

Photo retrieved from ASU LightWorks.