EDUCATION IN THE CLASSROOM
Typical driving scenarios played out millions of times:
• continuing to accelerate after a traffic light ahead turns red, ending in a hard stop, hoping to be the first in line, only to have a car the next lane over gently coasting to a stop but not stopping because the light has turned green
• sitting in a mall parking lot, idling continuously with the engine on, browsing on a smartphone
• speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic
• driving a gas guzzling, polluting vehicle
Green Driving America specializes in showing drivers-to-be and new drivers the benefits in being green drivers which goes hand-in-hand with being responsible and safer drivers.
HIGH SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATORS and DRIVER EDUCATORS
Green Driving America, which is now becoming established in a handful of states, will be working with the following high school educators: science, mathematics and technology teachers that integrate environmental education in their curricula, and driver educators with a requirement of a set number of hours of live classroom instruction1. We will work with these educators to show students the benefits in adopting green driving practices and opening their minds to the benefits of cleaner transportation choices.
In a one time per class, 45-minute live video session conducted by a trained, college level intern, students will learn the compelling benefits of:
• saving money in fuel and maintenance costs
• reductions in CO2 emitted into the atmosphere that impacts our climate
• reductions in fossil fuel energy consumption
• improvements in air quality and health
• how driving a cleaner or clean vehicle will further extend these benefits
• how being a green driver equates to being a safer driver
1Many states currently require this type of instruction; however in some states, including California, the classroom instruction portion of driver education is mostly limited to a preprogrammed Internet training session, not live instruction.
Our presentations are conducted exclusively via video conferencing whether schools are open for in-person classroom instruction2 or distance learning (due to Covid-19 or other limitations). A video conferencing app such as Zoom will be utilized.
Presentations include a brief set up time, 20-25 minute PowerPoint, three videos totaling 11-12 minutes, and a five minute "quick quiz". Q & A can fill any remaining time. A pdf handout is also included. The full presentation will be available for prescreening by potentially interested educators. Educators in advance would be provided information on the college intern giving the presentation including name, college attended, major, and academic standing.
2For video conferencing in classrooms, schools will need to be set up with the proper network connection and equipment: GUIDE
FUEL REDUCTION & MONEY SAVING FIGURES
The Driving More Efficiently page of fueleconomy.gov, the official U.S. source for fuel economy information, shows the average fuel reduction percentages and amounts of money saved by practicing green driving with gasoline vehicles (does not include EV benefits). Driving sensibly and observing speed limits clearly yield the biggest results.
WHAT WILL THE DIFFERENCE BE?
Our educational sessions, while not measurable in a strict sense, will make a difference. Reasonably, a percentage of students will grasp and apply the compelling information shown. They (and by extension, some of the adults around them) will learn to be more efficient and environmentally responsible drivers as well as being shown the path to EVs. As internal combustion engine vehicles continue to predominate for the next 15-20 years, the Driving More Efficiently figures at fueleconomy.gov show that each of these green drivers will avoid the consumption of many hundreds to thousands of gallons of fuel, resulting in reductions of many thousands of pounds to conceivably many tons of CO2 emissions.
HOW GREEN DRIVERS ARE SAFER DRIVERS
Green drivers avoid jackrabbit starts. They are better defensive drivers: more aware of and attentive to the flow of traffic around and ahead of them, and avoiding tailgating - all of which allows more reaction time to perform evasive maneuvers. It is also safer to comply with speed limits and conduct smooth acceleration/deceleration.
OUR EXPERIENCE WORKING IN THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY
Green Driving America Inc. evolved from an organization that specialized in conducting educational projects in the school community. Most of this work was in Vermont. The organization, then called Idle-Free VT, was awarded grants to implement these projects starting in 2013. They were split into two efforts:
1. measured idle-free schools campaigns at 14 schools (including two in California)
2. the work we are continuing to go forward with in a number of states: green driving guest-lecturing presentations in more than 120 drivers education and science educator's classes: VERMONT TEACHER ACCOLADES AND PRESENTATIONS TIMELINE