Activity Introduction

bulb2-heroQuick summary: Students complete a complex whole school energy audit. Using their data, students calculate usage, kilowatts and greenhouse gas emissions. Students make key recommendations on how energy use could be reduced at their school. They then link their findings to home-based projects that reduce energy usage, such as the Switch to Save program.

Activity created in partnership with switch to save logo

This lesson has been designed to support Bendigo Bank’s Switch to Save program. This program helps reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by switching halogen downlights for LED downlights for free. For every halogen globe switched Bendigo Bank donates $1 back to Victorian schools’ environmental projects.

Learning goals:

  • Students recognise the relationship between energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Students understand the relationship between watts, watt hours and kilowatts.
  • Students understand how to apply Emission Factor figures to the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Students recognise where energy consumption can be reduced at their school and home.

General capabilities: Sustainability OI.8.

Cross-curriculum priority: Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Geography Year 9

  • Collect, select, record and organise relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS064)

Science Year 9

  • Plan, select and use appropriate investigationmethods, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS165)
  • People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE160)
  • The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)

Geography Year 10

  • Collect, select, record and organise relevant data and geographical information, using ethical protocols, from a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS073)
  • Reflect on and evaluate the findings of the inquiry to propose individual and collective action in response to a contemporary geographical challenge, taking account of environmental, economic and social considerations; and explain the predicted outcomes and consequences of their proposal (ACHGS080)

Syllabus OutcomesGE5-7, GE5-8SC5-5WS.

Topic: Switch to Save, Energy.

Time required: 60 + mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee students conducting audit.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Internet access, school electricity and gas bills, factsheets: Energy cheat sheetCalculating GHG emissions and Typical power ratings for appliances. You can also download the Switch to Save School Registration form.

Digital technology opportunities: Prezi presentation tool, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: Switch to Save, energy, audit, greenhouse gas emissions, school, appliances, C02e emissions.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

bulb4-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will recognise the relationship between energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. They will understand the relationship between watts, watt hours and kilowatts and understand how to apply Emission Factor figures to the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions. Students will understand that replacing halogen downlights with LED downlights will have both environmental and economic benefits, and will recognise where energy consumption can be reduced at their school and home.

Teacher content information: Electrical energy is part of our everyday lives at home, at work and at school. Most of our energy is produced by burning fossil fuels and this has a range of environmental, social and economic impacts. One of the most significant impacts is the release of greenhouse gases. A solution is a transition to clean energy sources. Another solution is to think about our personal energy footprint and reduce t

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Student Worksheet

bulb3-heroWhy do an energy audit of your school?

By doing an energy audit you will be able to:

  • Look at and record the energy usage in your school;
  • Evaluate school energy use; and
  • Make some recommendations to the school about how to save energy, emissions and money.

Understand more about energy, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions with the Energy cheat sheet.

Doing your audit

Work out where the energy is being used at your school.

Each group will be assigned some rooms that they will audit. Once in your room, have a look at the appliances (including lighting) that are in the room. Think about how often they are used: Everyday? Once a week? Once a month? Rarely? Never? Only in summer or only in winter? And where is the energy being wasted? For example, are lights being left on in unoccupied rooms? Record your answers on Table 1.

What room/s are you looking at?

Table 1. What types of appliances are used in your room?

Appliance/Source Electricity/Gas How ofte
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