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Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education, responds to frequently asked questions from parents and educators

Q: Should talking about daylight saving time be a priority?

Young learner looks at oversized clock
Image courtesy of Microsoft

A: Talking about daylight saving time is a great opportunity to discuss history, energy, agriculture, transportation, the economy, and the necessity of sleep.

It’s also a great way to challenge young learners to investigate, by examining evidence and taking a stand on the topic. All students must master this skill with argumentative or persuasive essays before they complete their K12 education.

Daylight saving time dates to the early 20th century. Many historians suggest various reasons for the need to turn clocks back one hour in the Fall and forward one hour in the Spring. Benjamin Franklin is credited with suggesting the concept to save energy by relying more on daylight hours for work and awake responsibilities. The railroad transportation system was credited with DST to prevent train accidents. And agriculture and the economy were considered to receive great benefits from saving daylight. All of these create interesting conversation and debate.

Discussing with a young learner the difference in their day, sleep pattern and even circadian rhythm when daylight saving time occurs can help them better understand it’s effects. Be sure to ask their opinion about daylight saving time and reasons why their opinion is accurate. Fun Fact: Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving. Their clocks stay the same year-round.

Happy Learning,

Mrs. Pizzo

Robin Pizzo leads the education outreach efforts of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University, the PBS and NPR affiliate serving Michigan's capital region. Robin convenes partnerships and coordinates station initiatives such as WKAR Family and Ready to Learn to bring workshops, learning tools, and other resources into the community to help kids be resilient, lifelong learners.
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