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Green Technology, Education & You

In my opinion, there are few things more worthy of concern than the state of our planet. I’m not just referring to sea water levels. Another important issue is the immediate need for more sustainable ways of living. One palpable way to live more sustainably is to capitalize upon emerging forms of green technology. Although many of these technologies have been around for quite a while, there are numerous corporate forces working to keep these technologies out of the spotlight.

Enter the new green age, education, and you. Have you ever considered learning more about green technology? By calling technology green, what I mean is that it is sustainable—it supports causes that help reduce pollution to the environment and our living spaces. Moreover, when I use the term education, I’m referring to both formal, institutional education and more self-directed, lifelong education—the kind that is important to pursue throughout one’s life, even after graduating from college or graduate school. For the purpose of this essay, then, I’m interested in both types of educational pursuits.

Formal Education

Many environmental programs have been springing up at colleges and universities, lately, from environmental law to environmental technology. The latter is what you would be concerned with if interested in developing your own solar-powered motorized couch, for example. If you’re interested in academic program options, consider looking into environmental technology programs such as the program in Environmental Engineering at MIT or Trinity College, Dublin (located in both Dublin and New York City at Columbia University).

Have you heard of the National Robotics Initiative? If not, it’s a program recently put in place by President Obama to encourage young people, students, and faculty to pursue the study of robotics. If you’ve ever dreamed of space and galaxies, you might be interested in going to work for NASA. Exciting thought, isn’t it?

However, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about robotics, once you’ve started delving into the nuances and all the various uses for robots, from small scale to large scale. How about pursuing a degree in robotics? If you’re going to learn about robotics, it makes a lot of sense to devote a year or two to the study of it, don’t you think?

Informal Education

If you’re not sure you want to pursue robotics full-time, perhaps you’d be willing to try taking a class for beginners? Luckily, the ‘Tech Generation’ has come of age and set up business in a town near you. Take, for example, The Reuseum in Boise, Idaho; they offer educational workshops on how to build a recycled robot. The Reuseum specializes in resale of used parts and equipment, meaning rather than ending up in a landfill, those parts and old cassette players are ending up being put to good use.

There are also educational programs available online on technological topics such as controllers for robots, for example.  Plus, documentation of your robot-building efforts could easily turn into the basis of a Kickstarter campaign for you to build bigger and better duplicates of the same robot.  Who knows? You may eventually be tempted to build a motorized version of this solar-powered gnome for the yard. That way, you can scare the neighbor kids when they try to steal the pumpkin from your porch, next Halloween. 

In Conclusion

There is a variety of resources for technical education, both traditional and of the more green variety, online or in person, and all readily available in a community near you.  So get learning!  Someday you may find yourself building a solar-powered robot that ends up on a spaceship, or perhaps your own back yard.

 

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons

ELariosIII

ELariosIII

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