You know what they say: April showers bring May flowers, and May conferences bring environmental and energy education to the Rocky Mountains. This spring, over 200 teachers and environmental educators from all throughout Alberta (and some from British Columbia too) came together to ‘recharge’ in Canmore at our first annual Recharge conference. Over the course of three days, we explored the challenges, opportunities and solutions in environmental and energy education with nearly 50 indoor and outdoor workshops. Workshop topics covered everything from exploring excellent environment and energy education teaching practices to STEM education to yoga and meditation techniques to unwind and revitalize your teaching.
The conference was a big success, getting excellent reviews from both teachers and environmental educators. Semaa Amin, from Alberta Council for Disability Services, shared “The Recharge Conference organized by the ACEE was very refreshing to attend and provided an excellent opportunity to connect and exchange ideas with different educators of different backgrounds, all united with one common cause of conserving, protecting and improving the environment”. For Dominique Davidson Befus, a teacher from Calgary, the Recharge conference was “ [T]he most inspiring convention I've attended in my career. I'm eager to dive into some meaningful environmental action projects next year with my students.”
For many attendees, the opportunity to convene with like-minded peers was a beacon of hope, helping them feel more inspired and less alone in their work. Cinthia Nemoto from DreamRider Productions shared “Thank you, ACEE team, for providing a safe, fun, and warm space to talk about creative solutions for our future. I learned a lot, reflected a lot, and most importantly, had my inner hope recharged to keep its light on.”
We spoke to Sara Pearce Meijerink from the Beaverhill Bird Observatory at the conference. When asked about her experience, she responded:
"This conference has been amazing. There’s been so many phenomenal speakers and presentations happening. [A] lot of the time, depending [on] how your educational presentations go, you’re teaching the students about climate change and you’re repeating all the negative every day, so it’s hard as an individual to stay positive, and so this conference really kind of re-empowered me, rejuvenated my hope for the future. Which is fantastic! I try my best to be hopeful but it’s nice to meet other like-minded people and share that passion."
From the bottom of our hearts here at ACEE, we want to thank everyone who came together to make Recharge such an inspiring and amazing event. We want to thank our guests, the Coast Hotel and Conference Center, our sponsors including Energy Efficiency Alberta, Royal Roads University and Cape Breton University and our incredibly hardworking team who made this event possible. We can’t wait to see you all again next year.