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TREC Education Kids’ World of Energy Festival: Energizing Our Energy Future

TREC Education Kids’ World of Energy Festival: Energizing Our Energy Future

Mümtaz Derya Tarhan
Monday, May 21
The Community Power Report

The learning curve for changing our lifestyles is pretty high. The relationship between electricity generation, individual consumption choices, the economy on a micro and macro scale and our environment is quite complex. Therefore, even before getting to the realization and trying to change our behaviours, it is first and foremost difficult for us to understand our electricity generation and consumption choices’ effects on the environment, the economy, and our fellow human beings. 

Not if you grow up with that awareness.

Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative (TREC) Education thinks so as well, as they hosted the fifth annual Kids’ World of Energy Festival from May 15th – 19th, 2012 in Toronto. TREC is a global pioneer in the community energy sector, and the parent co-operative of WindShare (the first urban wind turbine in North America) and the still member-recruiting SolarShare. TREC also established TREC Education in order to build awareness around renewable energy among the youth.

The goal of the Kids’ World Energy Festival is to help children build awareness and make informed decisions around electricity generation and consumption through hands-on activities. As part of the Festival, students from numerous Toronto schools came to Evergreen Brick Works to learn about renewable energy, energy conservation, the science of energy and a sustainable way of living. 

Kirstan Vanstone, TREC’s Education Director, underlined the significance of the event for the youth and our energy future: “The Festival is a unique opportunity for students to connect with important issues in a really fun, meaningful way.  We hope to create lasting experiences that students can take with them as they begin making decisions on how they will consume energy and resources.”

The location of the Festival was very symbolic as well. Previously a brick factory that supplied for most of Toronto’s skyscrapers, now the factory is turned into an environmental centre called Evergreen Brick Works that inspires and equips visitors to live, work and play more sustainably.  


Here are some the exhibits and hands-on activities from the festival:

  • Solar Ovens to cook S’mores! Here, students were demonstrated how the heat from the sun could be used as energy to complete daily tasks.


  • How do wind turbines generate electricity?

  • Understanding how the gears on a bike work! 

                                                       Source: TREC Education Twitter account (@TRECEducation)

  • Understanding where our water comes from and the consequences of our consumption choices.

                                       Source: TREC Education Twitter account (@TRECEducation)

  • Students were also asked to build model wind turbines and prepare posters about what renewable energy and the environment means for them. So cool!

                                                            Source: Sean Magee Twitter account (@SS_Magee)


Approximately 3,000 students participated in the Festival, while approximately 1,500 family members participated in the “public festival day”, where children were allowed to bring their parents to a day filled with hands-on energy and environmental themed activities.

The involvement, endless curiosity and excitement of students were encouraged and shared by TREC staff and volunteers. 

Just being there was enough to make one believe in endless possibilities that the future holds, while still being aware of endless threats. And it also made me believe again that we simply cannot talk about building a better future without actively involving the future from today.
Here’s to hoping for more similar festivals across the world!  

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