Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students look at a range of energy resources and make assessments about their suitability for use in Australia in the context of climate change. Students begin by brainstorming energy resources and environmental impacts, and then work in groups to research one type of energy resource in detail. They present their findings to the class, and working as a class vote for their preferred future energy resources. This lesson meets selected Australian Curriculum outcomes for Years 7 and 8 in the subject of Science.

earth-hour-160x160In 2016, Earth Hour will celebrate the places we love that make our outdoor lifestyle and the Aussie way of life so great. Our beaches, rivers, reefs, snow-capped mountains, farmland and national parks uniquely distinguish Australia as the “lucky country”. You can become a part of the movement and start to take action on climate change by visiting to register for Lights Out or find your local event. Take part and register in Earth Hour Schools Day on Friday the 18th March and don’t forget to switch off on Earth Hour, on Saturday 19th March 8:30-9:30pm.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that there are a range of energy resources.
  • Students recognise that energy can have significant impacts on our environment and can contribute to climate change and global warming.
  • Students understand that there are energy alternatives that have lower environmental and climate impacts.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Literacy, ICT capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.8.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 Science

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)
  • Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS124)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)

Year 8 Science

  • Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and causes change within systems (ACSSU155)
  • Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations(ACSHE135)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS148)

Year 7 English (Homework)

  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)

Year 8 English (Homework)

  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)

Syllabus Outcomes: EN4-4BSC4-4WS, SC4-9WS, SC4-10PW, SC4-11PW, SC4-12ES

Time required: 60 mins

Resources needed: Internet access, student worksheet, black/smart board (optional).

Digital technology opportunities: Presentation tools (PowerPoint or Prezi or movie making program), mind-mapping tools ( or mindmeister), digital sharing capabilities

Homework and extension opportunities:

Keywords: Energy, climate change, global warming, coal, gas, nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, biofuel.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Teacher content information: Earth Hour is a WWF-Australia initiative which has grown into the world’s largest community-driven campaign for the planet. At the centre of the campaign is the symbolic collective action of switching off the lights. Through this action, individuals, businesses, schools and communities join a visible statement of commitment to act on climate change. Participation remains a powerful reminder to our political leaders that there is ongoing concern and demand for the government to act on climate change.

This year Earth Hour is shining the spotlight on the impact of climate change on the Places We Love. One of the things that makes Australia so great is the beautiful outdoor lifestyle we live. From beaches, rainforests and rivers, to snow-capped mountains, coral reefs and lakes, we have one of the most beautiful countries in the world. But the healthy, outdoors lifestyle we enjoy is under threat from rising temperatures and more extreme wea

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How many different types of energy are there?

Which type of energy should Australia choose? Questions to guide your research:

1. What is the science and technology behind this resource?

How does this energy resource work?

What technology is used?


2. Is this energy resource renewable or non-renewable? Explain:


3. How is this energy resource used?

Is this energy source used in Australia? If so, how much? If not, why not?


4. What are the benefits or problems associated with this resource?

Are there any environmental, social or financial benefits of this resource? What are they?


Are there any environmental, social or financial problems associated with this resource? What are they?


5. What is the relationship between this energy resource and climate change?

Does this energy resource contribute to climate change? If so, how? If not, why not?


6. What do you think the future of this resource should be? Should it be expanded or scal

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