Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students are introduced to potential solutions to our energy issues. Working in groups they evaluate a range of renewable energy technologies and formulate an independent opinion about whether this type of energy is viable.

Essential questions:

  • How does energy from non-renewable resources impact our environment?
  • What are some of the different types of renewable energy technologies?
  • What are the benefits of renewable energy for our environment?

21st century skills:

 renewable technologies skills

Australian Curriculum

Content descriptions:

Year 5 Science

  • Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives (ACSHE083)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes using scientific representations in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)

Year 6 Science

  • Electrical energy can be transferred and transformed in electrical circuits and can be generated from a range of sources (ACSSU097)
  • Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives (ACSHE100)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes using scientific representations in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

Syllabus Outcomes: ST3-7PW, EN3-2A, EN3-3A.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 5 Science achievement standards: Students discuss how scientific developments help us solve problems. They communicate their ideas and findings using multimodal texts.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Science achievement standards: Students describe how energy can be transformed from one form to another when generating electricity, and explain how scientific knowledge helps us to solve problems. Students construct multimodal texts to communicate ideas, methods and findings.

Topic: Energy.

Time required: 45+ mins – this lesson may be extended over several sessions.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Lead the class in presentations and discussion around renewable energy.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. Art and writing materials.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Energy, solutions, conservation, evaluation.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

waves-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students understand how energy from non-renewable resources can impact our environment, and understand that renewable energy is a viable alternative to energy from fossil fuels. Students recognise a range of different types of renewable energy and identify their benefits.

Teacher content information: Energy is the lifeblood of our modern life. It powers our industry, it fuels our cars, and charges our iPhones. The problem is that much of our energy is produced by burning fossil fuels like coal, and this has a range of environmental, social and economic impacts, one being the emission of greenhouse gases.

However, there are a range of alternative energy sources that are sources from renewable resources and that have minimal environmental impacts. These include solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal. Some of these alternatives are well-known and might already be being used at home or at school, such as solar power or wind power. Others ar

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: How many different types of renewable energy are there?

Investigation Task

Your group will investigate a technology that promises to have less impact on our environment. You will:

  1. Use the evaluation criteria to describe the technology and if it is worth considering.
  2. Make a labeled diagram of the technology, describing in your words how you think it will work. 

renewable energy criteria

Group members:

The type of renewable energy we are investigating is: 

As you research fill in the table below, answering the questions in the blue column. You will need to find information about your technology from two different websites (remember the Search strategies for Googling when researching):

Evaluation criteria 

Key information (website 1)

Key information (website 2)

What kind of energy does it use? Is it a renewable source of energy?

Does it have less impact on our environment?

Are there problems using it?

Is it ready to b

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