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Helping Children to Understand Alternative Energy

Aug 17, 2007
If you have ever spent much time with kids, you know that life is one big question and answer session. With all the topics they are always bringing up, there is no better one to introduce than the topic of our world and how to improve it. A parent could take questions about the sun and turn them into answers about solar energy.

Helping your kids understand alternative energy is very valuable.

Alternative energy is energy that does not use oil. Using natural sources such as the sun, air, water, the heat of the earth and waste products, energy can be created that is safer and less pollutive and renewable.

If children already know what the elements that form the basis of alternative energy are, you can take this information and show them how these things are used to make energy. How do we do this?

Some suggestions are:

When you talk about the sun, you can discuss how power can be derived from the sun using solar panels, that the heat from the sun is stored in panels and then converted to electricity to be used in our homes.

Besides instilling the concept of water safely in children, you can use any discussion about water to explain how it is used to create energy. Children can understand tides, waves and dams; you can explain how each of these can be used to create electricity. If you want to go further, you can discuss how water passes over turbines to create power, how generators store this energy, and how electricity is created. Once they understand this, you can show them how this concept works with tides and waves as well.

When you are explaining to your children how important air is for breathing, you can also explain how it can be converted to power via wind turbines to create safe, clean energy.

Children need to understand the danger of steam so that they do not burn themselves, but you can use this opportunity to explain that steam moves turbines and charges generators that can light our streets and power our appliances.

If you keep the concepts simple, even little children can understand. You can illustrate with items found around your home, show them pictures and even perhaps bring them to a power plant that uses alternative energy. The idea is to get them interested, aware and appreciative of these sources of energy.
About the Author
MJ Batta writes on various alternative energy related topics and hosts an alternative energy websites at Alternative Fuel and Energy
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