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General Motors and Weekly Reader Launch New Classroom Curriculum on Energy and Environment


Curriculum to educate students on important global energy challenges

DETROIT – Today, General Motors and Weekly Reader are releasing a new classroom curriculum, “The Energy Highway – Solutions Ahead,” that teachers can use to help students understand the energy challenges facing society today, as well as some of the existing and future alternatives that may help alleviate these issues.

“Global energy demands are increasing rapidly and GM is committed to offering solutions. We’re developing vehicles that can be powered by many different energy sources to help displace petroleum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Elizabeth A. Lowery, GM vice president, Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. “Young people today have an opportunity to be part of the movement that seeks solutions to some of these energy issues, and our hope is that this new classroom curriculum will help plant the seeds of knowledge that will encourage them to be a part of that.”

A recent Weekly Reader survey of 6 to 18-year-olds showed that students are receiving most of their information about the environment at school from teachers and textbooks, followed by television, their parents and the Internet. Given the interest in the classroom around environment and energy issues, GM and Weekly Reader partnered to create this new curriculum that helps teachers guide students through discussions and activities that focus on various issues surrounding the energy we use every day, including increasing global demand and environmental and economic impacts.

“It’s nearly impossible to pick up a newspaper today without reading an article on the environment or alternative energy,” said Terry Bromberg, president, Weekly Reader Custom Publishing. “We are able to teach students about these relevant topics with current statistics and information that are years from making it into science textbooks. It’s great to provide such needed resources to the educational community.”

The new curriculum is being mailed to teachers around the U.S. and is also available for download at The curriculum is aimed at grades five through eight and is available in English and Spanish. Curricular objectives include:

* Help students consider the current issues surrounding energy today, including increasing global energy demand and environmental and economic impacts
* Explore ways to help reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by using diverse and renewable energy resources
* Explore ways to conserve energy and become more energy efficient
* Demonstrate the benefits of using renewable energy resources to produce electricity and hydrogen as energy carriers that offer the greatest diversity and lowest environmental impact

GM and Weekly Reader have partnered in the past on other classroom curriculum focused on various environment and energy topics including fuel cells, hydrogen, and E85 ethanol. Their middle school science curriculum package on E85 ethanol – “Live Green, Go Yellow: the power of corn” – won a 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers. This curriculum, along with other classroom materials, games and activities for students can be found at


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