Theatre Program Helps Students Understand Energy Choices

Preliminary results of a study designed to examine behavior change in elementary and junior high students have shown that an in-school energy curriculum centered on a professional theatre performance has been successful in increasing understanding of important energy issues.

Research Into Action (RIA), an Oregon-based behavior research firm with expertise in energy-related projects and energy audits, spent three years examining students who received an integrated curriculum developed by The National Theatre for Children (NTC) in five states throughout the Tennessee Valley.

“Quality education is crucial to understanding the need to change behavior, and we are seeing increased test scores across all ages, all grades and in both urban and rural schools,” said Ryan Bliss, project director at RIA. “Students involved in the curriculum also show a greater understanding for differences between renewable and non-renewable resources, and that resources produce energy to power their computers, iPods, video games and cell phones.”

The science-based curriculum teaches students grades K-9 that both renewable and non-renewable resources are used to produce electricity. The program connects knowledge and understanding with choices students can make about using energy and the resources needed to make electricity.

“The preliminary results from the first of our three year research study shows that students exposed to the theatre experience used as an introduction to the classroom curriculum understand more than the control group that did not receive the program,” said Ward Eames, president of NTC, an organization that has been bringing energy, environmental and social programs to U.S. schools for over 30 years.

Related Reading:
How To Cut Carbon 80 Percent by 2010
14 Ways To Save Water
Teachers Protest To Defend The Arts From Budget Cuts

Image Credit: National Theatre For Children


Cynthia Atkins
Cynthia Atkins6 years ago

Love this article. This is our next generation and if they don't learn now there will be nothing left for their children.

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p6 years ago

sounds like a fun way of learning, thanks for the article

Bon L.
Bon L6 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Julie W.
Julie W6 years ago

Unfortunately, I know a few adults who would benefit from this!

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

Commendable, learning to take responsibility in a fun way.
Ideally, children need to get guidance in the home- as well as the school environment!

John S.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thanks, I used role playing for training people that work for me, and I can see how it would work, I'm just wondering about the test scores...

Trish K.
Trish K6 years ago

Theater and drama can teach math and science as well as home economics and right from wrong. The theater has been used for teaching long before there were schools. Look at how the church used drama before there was a common language.

cristiana t.
cristiana t6 years ago


Empress Ginger
Ginger Strivelli6 years ago

Drama classes, music classes and art classes always help students alas they are not valued as much as Math and Science classes now-a--days.

bernadette P.
Berny p6 years ago

This is very important because we have to get away from oil and find cheaper source of energy and by teaching these children a few of them might be the future of new energy!
Good luck to the teachers!