Teaching Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution

Engaging students in understanding renewable energy (Source: The Redford Center)

“Can we make enough renewable energy to supply the world and replace fossil fuels? How would we do that? And, will we do that?” –James Redford

The questions James Redford poses above are the foundation for Teaching Happening, the educational version of The Redford Center’s documentary Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution.

This 50-minute film is designed to:

  • Build background knowledge on the source of our energy
  • Guide students to identify factors driving the renewable energy transition, including technological innovation, national security, sustainability, workforce development, cost savings and environmental stewardship
  • Engage students in understanding the role of civil engagement and policy in the transition to renewable energy

Our hope is that through this version of the film, students will become engaged in contributing to a clean energy future by taking on individual actions and commitments.

For Grades 6-12

Teaching Happening is an interdisciplinary, modular curriculum developed to work alongside the educational version of Happening, aligned with national standards for grades 6-12. Created as a cohesive unit of lessons to support middle and high school screenings of the documentary, it is available to license for purchase as a package or for the curriculum alone.

Because we know time is limited in classrooms, the film and lessons were developed around three distinct “chapters”, or central topics, within the film – Chapter 1: Energy 101, Chapter 2: Innovation and Economics, and Chapter 3: Community and Political Engagement and can be used in one class period, or over the span of several days. The lessons can be easily integrated into units within:

  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Policy
  • Economics, Civics/Government
  • English/Language Arts
  • Film Studies and Media Literacy

Teaching Happening also includes assessment opportunities aligned to discipline-specific skills and competencies in Science, Civics, Economics, English/Language, Arts and Film Studies. The Happening educational curriculum is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, and Common Core State Standards as it relates to point of view for use in English classes.

For Universities/Higher Ed

The Happening Higher Ed: Student & Educator’s Guide is designed to facilitate and maximize engagement from university-level educators and their students, respecting the in-class time limitations in institutions of higher learning.

Our Higher Ed Guide is divided into two main sections:

  • For Educators: a suggested program for viewing the film in class or assigning the viewing of the film outside of class, to be followed by an in-class, action-based discussion. Educators will be guided on how to use the film as a jumping off point for a Service-Learning project for students. Included in this guide is a list of suggested projects.
  • For Students: a guide to hosting a university or public screening of Happening by a student group, with suggestions for organization, messaging, promotion, and post-screening discussions.

The 50-minute educational version of the film is available for purchase through our distributor for classroom screening and comes with the curriculum included.  If you are interested in purchasing only the curriculum document, please reach out to us.

To order your Happening Screening and/or Educational Curriculum email us today at