After seeing the ACE Assembly, high school students are looking for ways to immediately get involved in meaningful projects to fight climate change. But what can they as high school students do? Climate change is a huge problem and the solutions aren’t always immediately obvious. That’s why the ACE Action Fellow program in North Carolina partnered with E-Conversation to provide the Action Fellows with some hands-on experience in conducting energy audits, educating their neighbors about reducing their energy footprint, and working with media to spread the word about the benefits of energy audits.
To kick off their work, the ACE Action Fellows shadowed contractors during the weekend of March 14th. The Job Shadow Day was a critical piece of ACE’s Action Fellowship program here in North Carolina this year. Action Fellows got to examine both the climate and social justice impacts of energy conservation efforts while identifying barriers to participation. Throughout the day you could hear them comparing the homes that they had worked on to their own homes. They began to realize how simple it was to make changes that benefit both the planet and the economy.
After the Job Shadow Day, ACE and E-Conservation offered the Fellows various ways to apply the skills acquired during the energy audits. Fellows selected one of three potential projects, each one focusing on energy conservation. Some students chose to host facilitate energy conservation workshops: brushing up on their public speaking skills while sharing what they learned from the Job Shadow Day. Others produced videos to educate folks on how to save energy. Finally, some Fellows actually implemented the knowledge they gained at the Job Shadow Day: performing energy audits for family members or their teachers.
The 2014-2015 ACE Action Fellowship in North Carolina not only helped to educate students about climate change and energy conservation but also let them gain experience in implementing real-world solutions. This work could not have been possible without the support of our partners at E-Conservation.
E-Conservation is a part of the NC Cooperative Education Program. They were created to inform and educate residents about ways to reduce energy use and increase energy efficiency by educating and empowering individuals to be proactive in reducing their energy consumption. E-Conservation does home energy audits for older homes at minimal costs, conduct home energy workshops and provide a myriad of energy efficiency resources on their website.