Quick summary: Students look at the arguments for and against nuclear power, particularly in the context of climate change. Students begin by conducting a ’5 Whys’ investigation into their own impressions of nuclear power. They then undertake a SWOT analysis on a range of statements around nuclear power. Using this information students are then asked to imagine they have been commissioned by either a nuclear power company or by an anti nuclear lobby group to sell the message to the public that nuclear power should either be used or avoided.
These activities “… are an invaluable tool for teachers to address climate change in an educationally relevant, scientifically sound, and action-based way.” – Tim Flannery (Read more)
- Students recognise the arguments for and against nuclear power.
- Students understand that although nuclear power offers a green energy alternative it comes with significant costs.
- Students are able to synthesise information and opinion into an advertising campaign.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.
Cross-curriculum priorities: Sustainability OI.6, OI.7, OI.8.
Australian Curriculum content description:
Year 7 Science
- Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)
Year 8 Science
- 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)
Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies
- Examine and prioritise competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations in the development of technologies and designed solutions to meet community needs for preferred futures (ACTDEK029)
Topic: We Are the Weather Makers
Time required: 60 mins
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion
Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, Nuclear power statements.
Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework or extension.
Key reading from We Are the Weather Makers: Chapter 28 – Nuclear
Further reading from the book: Chapter 27 – Bright as Sunlight, Light as Wind, Chapter 29 – Hybrids, Minicats and Contrails
Keywords: Nuclear power, energy, climate change, alternative energy.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.
Cool Australia would like to acknowledge:
- Tim Flannery
- David Harding, Rose Iser, Sally Stevens
- Text Publishing and Purves Environmental Fund
- Climate Council