Activity Introduction

gordon-dam-heroQuick summary: Students will learn about the operation of a hydroelectricity generating system. They will explore the mechanical effects of water and make links between mechanical and electrical energy effects. They will also translate the substance of an informative text into diagrammatic form.

Activity developed in partnership with  tasmania_hydro_200x84_300pxl

Hydro Tasmania has been at the forefront of clean energy innovation for one hundred years. It is Australia’s largest producer of clean energy – generating hydro and wind power – and the largest water manager. Hydro Tasmania has 55 major dams, operates 30 hydropower stations and has built some of Australia’s largest wind farms.

Hydro Tasmania also sells energy in the National Electricity Market through its retail business Momentum Energy, and sells its expertise internationally through its consulting business Entura. Visit the Hydro Tasmania website to learn how the business is working towards Australia’s clean energy future.

Learning goals:

  • Students develop knowledge about energy generating infrastructure operated in Tasmania.
  • Students synthesise facts and draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence.
  • Students apply their knowledge and skills to answer comprehension questions about key facts.
  • Students transfer written text to diagrammatic text.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 9 Science

  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS170).

Year 10 Science

  • Critically analyse the validity of information in secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems (ACSIS206).

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-7WS, SC5-8WS.

Topic: Hydro Tasmania, Energy.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity.

Resources required: Internet access, Student Worksheet (one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet), Hydroelectricity 101 – Resource Sheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework and extension.

Keywords: Hydroelectricity, power generation, mechanical, electrical, energy, Hydro Tasmania. 

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


Teacher Worksheet

meadowbank-powerstation-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will develop knowledge about energy generating infrastructure operating in Tasmania. They will synthesise facts and draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence and apply their knowledge and skills to answer comprehension questions about key facts.

Teacher background information: Energy is the lifeblood of our modern life. It gives us light and keeps our food fresh. It powers our industry, fuels our cars, and charges our iPhones. Our energy is produced by burning fossil fuels and this has a range of environmental, social and economic impacts. One of the most significant is the emission of greenhouse gases. A solution is the transition to clean energy sources. The brilliant thing is that we have huge amounts of free, renewable and clean supplies of natural energies. These include sunlight, wind, running water, oceans and underground hot rocks.

According to the Clean Energy Australia Report

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How does a water wheel work?

Read the Hydroelectricity 101 - Resource Sheet, then make full sentence written responses to this series of questions.


1. To what does the prefix ‘hydro’ refer?

2. Why does a river need to have a particular degree of slope to be suitable for a hydroelectric scheme?

3. What category of energy does the action of water provide to the hydroelectric operation?

4. What two natural forces are employed to turn the turbine propellers?

5. What is ‘green’ about Hydro Tasmania’s use of water in their power stations?

6. Apart from the turbines and the electrical generators, what other machines are necessary in this operation? HINT: Think about the way in which water is returned to the dam.

7. What constitutes an electrical current? Complete the definition by filling in the blank:
What we call an electrical current is a flow of in an unbroken chain.

8. Why are power lines made of metal?

9. Explain the difference between perman

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.