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Clean tech activities can be a small part of the solution to school violence

Like all of our readers, I’m really sad right now, and that’s an understatement. The horrible mix of feelings that come with hearing what happened in Ovaldi, Texas is indescribable, but I don’t have to describe it because you experience it too. I’m not going to comment here on what we need to do to solve the problem and prevent these tragedies from happening in the future, because this is not the place for those discussions and because there is already a lot of debate going on. Instead, I want to talk about one small thing that we can all do to be a small part of the solution.

Many of our children are not well

One big driver of this violence (among many things) is that there are a lot of young people in the United States who are not doing well emotionally. The future may seem unimaginable to them, and their past can contain some terrible things. It seemed that the man who wasted not only his life but the lives of other children had a history of severe bullying, serious family problems at home, and felt no hope for the future. We don’t know exactly how this all happened in this guy’s mind, but we do know that arguing about finances with his grandmother ended up putting him on edge in some way.

This tragic tale reminded me of some young men I know, including my son. There is a serious crisis facing young people in America today. They are more likely to end up being involved in crime and violence than are young women. They don’t finish school like girls, and they don’t go to college or a job training program very often. More men between the ages of 18 and 34 live with parents than with an LGBT wife, girlfriend, or partner. Jobs that men are generally interested in have been abolished, and this leaves many unemployed.

Even worse, being unemployed makes them much less likely to find a life partner, because women who want to stay with them usually look for a stable husband (which makes sense).

This leaves many young people with a bleak future in mind. They think they might end up without any of the things they want in life. Add to life other problems like dysfunctional family, socio-economic problems, bullying, and other toxic things and we have set up the perfect stage for a human catastrophe.

As a parent, this scares me. I had to have a lot of conversations with my children and with other young people in my family about their future. My two sons have expressed concerns about their future, because they are more considerate of the world than we think. To keep them healthy, I had to work hard to make sure they got some light at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully the light wasn’t an oncoming train. I hope these conversations take place with all of you who have children and that you make sure your children are okay too.

Helping our children is not enough

One of the really cool things about clean tech is that it can be very practical, and that’s something a lot of guys really enjoy. Of course, I don’t want to reinforce toxic stereotypes, as men can have all kinds of interests and personalities. But I have seen that young people who like to work with their hands are more likely to feel the struggle now, because schools and many families want all their children to become “doctors, lawyers, etc.”, and this can make them feel like a failure.

Obviously, we can’t go out and teach every boy to go work on solar panels, store batteries, and manufacture and/or repair electric vehicles (but these are great areas to help guide these guys toward if they fit their personalities and talents). What we can do when they are too young for these types of professional software is make sure they are exposed to it and have some fun doing it.

Some ideas for doing that

If you CleanTechnica Reader, you are probably passionate about clean tech. So, it is best to share this passion with the kids whenever you can. For many children, it will be boring, but for some of them, it will light a spark in their imagination and give them a kind of North Star. It can save lives in many ways.

I think that’s silly? Keep in mind that an important part of EV and solar history was the silly little solar-powered toy car at the 1955 Auto Show. It inspired a number of kids who went into the electric car industry later.

At really young ages, consider talking to your children’s teachers to bring in another Tesla or EV to show and talk. Letting kids see something different (and cool) can give them ideas. Talk to the kids about how the car is made, how it works, and why it’s cool. Tell them that one day they might help build or improve it. Talk to other schools and other teachers (especially science teachers) to see if you can give a demonstration to the students.

Or, better yet, enlist an entire EV club to show cars to students of all ages. This is even cooler.

For older kids (middle and high school), talk to the store and tech teachers to do something similar, but let the kids (with adult supervision) get more hands-on training. If you’ve had a really cool high school, let them look under them too.

Another cool thing that kids love is solar power plants, also known as solar generators. If you have one, lend one to the local school or donate one to a tech teacher. The basic idea of ​​solar energy and batteries and doing something useful with that power can help some kids find a job, or at least learn that there are great things going on in the world. If you’re more technically inclined, a demo of a small lithium battery, charge controller, and board can give high school students a deeper insight into how they work.

If you’re a renewable energy professional, sign up for schools, youth groups, and churches to give kids fun activities that teach them about your career. If you’re just excited, think of more ways you can get out and share your passion with the kids (and consider sharing them in the comments).

Also look for opportunities to participate in things like the solar car race I covered in this article, or something similar. Or start one in your community.

This is obviously not a complete solution, but it works well

I know that this alone won’t come close to solving the problem. Work of all kinds and at every level will be needed to make things better and safer for our children, and you may already have your own ideas of what we need. You should definitely go after those other things and try to make the world a better place, even if we can’t all agree on what those things are. There can never be many good people who advocate for children.

Consider sharing your passion with the world and do this little thing to help a few young people find practical and technical jobs that have a good future. Even if you don’t save lives, you’ll at least make some of them a little better, and it’s well worth the small effort this requires.

Featured image: My Jackery 500 Solar Generator.

 


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