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 DRIVER EDUCATORS and ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATORS
Green Driving America, which is now becoming established in a handful of states, will be working with the following high school educators: driver educators1 with a requirement of a set number of hours of live classroom instruction2 and science, mathematics and technology teachers that integrate environmental education in their curricula. We will work with these educators to give Green Driving from the Start© presentations, showing 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 these compelling benefits:
• saving money in fuel and maintenance costs
• reducing CO2 emitted into the atmosphere that impacts our climate
• reducing fossil fuel energy consumption
• improving air quality and health
• how driving a low- to zero-emission vehicle will extend these benefits
• how being a green driver equates to being a safer driver
NOTE: We wish all educators the best with the health and logistical impacts imposed by Covid-19. Our presentations are basically "covid proof" as they are conducted exclusively via video conferencing.
1Wayne Michaud is a member of the ADTSEA (American Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association)
2Many states currently require this type of instruction. However in some states, including California, the classroom driver education instruction portion is mostly limited to a self-taught Internet training program, not live instruction; this is not conducive to our presentations.
Green Driving from the Start© presentations are conducted exclusively via video conferencing regardless of whether schools are open for in-person classroom instruction3 or distance/remote/virtual learning (due to Covid-19 or other limitations). A video conferencing app such as Zoom will be utilized.
Presentations are scheduled to be 45 minutes. They will include a shared screen PowerPoint and two to three videos. Q & A can fill any remaining time. Optionally, if five to ten minutes additional time is available, a "quick quiz" covering presentation details can be given, with answers provided in a slide. A pdf handout is also included.
In May, this page will contain a preview of the presentation. By early to mid summer, the full presentation will be available for prescreening to interested educators. And prior to classroom presentations, educators will be provided information about the college intern giving the presentation including name, college attended, major, and academic standing.
3For 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 the existing fleet of 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.
Additionally, some of the educators we have worked with have, with permission, used our materials to add portions of our advocacy in their curricula to reach additional students.
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 (12 in Vermont; 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 Vermont drivers education and science/math educator classes: VERMONT TEACHER ACCOLADES AND PRESENTATIONS TIMELINE