Energy Monsters go virtual to show kiddos energy saving isn’t scary
With a click of a mouse from his Nashville home office, Grant England and his friendly Energy Monster pals “turn off” a cartoon lamp on his laptop screen. At that exact moment, over a hundred miles away in Killen, Alabama, an 8-year-old’s eyes light up.
“That was really cool!” says Lily Mitchell with a broad smile.
Lily wasn’t sure what to expect when her mom, Leslie, signed her up for TVA EnergyRight’s new virtual Eye Spy Energy Workshop.
“When I told her about doing the workshop, she was a little confused as to how we were going to do that virtually,” says Leslie. “But once everybody joined on and she heard all the kids’ voices she realized, ‘Ok everybody is just like me. We’re in this together.’”
“In this together” has been a common theme for several months as families across the Valley socially distance and stay home due to COVID-19. With Lily and her friends stuck at home, Leslie saw the workshop, hosted by TVA EnergyRight in partnership with her local power company, Florence Utilities, as a unique opportunity.
“I wanted Lily to have an opportunity to interact with other kids. But I also really wanted her to understand how she could make an impact on saving energy,” says Leslie.
TVA EnergyRight’s Eye Spy Energy Workshop is an interactive online program aimed at teaching kids where energy comes from, how we use energy in our everyday lives and how to help their families save energy around the home. Led by England, a former schoolteacher, and the Energy Monsters, including Watt, Spark, Bolt, Newton, Zap and Breaker, kids travel through a virtual home to see how energy is used and what could be wasting energy and money. It had an immediate impact on Lily as she started to realize how she could change some of her habits.
“Close the doors at all times. Close the windows when you’re not using it. And don’t leave the refrigerator door open. And turn the washer cold.”
After the workshop, Lily couldn’t let all her new information go to waste and held an impromptu energy-saving class in her dining room using her materials from her free Eye Spy Energy Kids’ Kit. Her students? Her 5-year-old twin siblings Bailey and Brennan.
“These are the Energy Monsters,” she said, using the end of a fly swatter as a pointer on taped-up workshop activity sheets. “They say we should turn the lights off when we leave a room.”
“I was actually really surprised she absorbed so much and was really excited about it. Her little brother and sister were just as excited to learn about it,” says Leslie. “I think it was a reminder and a confirmation that the more people know these tools and the ways to save energy, the bigger impact we can make.”
Visit TVA EnergyRight’s Energy Monster’s page to learn more about the fun, interactive tools available for your kiddos.