Activity Introduction

Quick summary: 2040 is an innovative feature documentary that looks to the future, but is vitally important NOW! Director Damon Gameau embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream.

In this lesson, students will be immersed in, and connect with, the documentary film 2040, focusing on the topic of renewable energy. Students begin by exploring what we mean by renewable and non-renewable resources, and investigate a range of resources, classifying them as either renewable or non-renewable based on their regeneration rates. Students then look at renewable energy and then generate questions that they have about renewable energy that can be answered through research. These questions are then distributed amongst students who conduct the research required to answer them and share their results with the class. Finally, students explore how understanding the benefits of renewable energy can improve and empower communities by looking at and comparing a range of community energy projects.

2040 is only available in cinemas until later in 2019. You can make a group booking for your class at your local cinema during the film’s theatrical release. Find out how to see the film in cinemas hereThese lessons have been designed with a media library to support teachers. The Schools Version of the 2040 DVD is now also available for pre-order! School-based screenings can commence from September 1st – pre-order now to ensure that the DVD is delivered to you before the end of August. The Schools Version includes an educational license, allowing you to play it in class as a learning tool or even host on-site screenings for your school community. 

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand what renewable and non-renewable means in terms of resources
  • Students will recognise a range of renewable energy sources
  • Students will understand how people can use scientific knowledge around energy to improve and empower communities through community energy programs.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Science

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, including water that cycles through the environment, 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 evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)

Year 8 Science 

  • Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135)
  • Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS139)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS148)

Syllabus outcomes: SC4-12ES, SC4-4WS, SC4-9WS, SC4-11PW.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.6, OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Science achievement standards: Students identify questions that can be investigated scientifically. They analyse how the sustainable use of resources depends on the way they are formed and cycle through Earth systems. They communicate their ideas, methods and findings using scientific language and appropriate representations.  

Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Students identify and construct questions and problems that they can investigate scientifically. Students explain how evidence has led to an improved understanding of a scientific idea, and use appropriate language and representations to communicate science ideas, methods and findings in a range of text types.

Topic: Sustainability, Energy.

Unit of work: 2040 – Science – Years 7 to 10

Time required: 100+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activities and facilitate class discussions.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Energy Answers Sheet – Optional

Keywords: 2040 documentary, energy, electricity, sustainability, renewable energy.

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

Cool Australia, GoodThing Productions and Regen Pictures would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of Good Pitch Australia, Shark Island Institute, Documentary Australia Foundation, The Caledonia Foundation and our philanthropic partners in the development of these teaching resources.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will ...

  • ... understand what renewable and non-renewable means in terms of resources
  • ... recognise a range of renewable energy sources
  • ... understand how people can use scientific knowledge around energy to improve and empower communities through community energy programs

Success criteria: Students can …

  • ... work independently and collaboratively
  • ... participate in group discussion
  • ... generate scientifically relevant questions
  • ... conduct and share research

Teacher content information: A 2018 study by The University of Melbourne on the thoughts and concerns of young people from Generations X and Y found the number one concern across both groups was lack of action around climate change. In particular, "Generation X worries what climate change will mean for their own children, while Generation Y is concerned about the impact on future generations" (The Educator). The report indicates that young people have a se

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: How can we look after energy resources for the future?

Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources

You will now work in your pairs to order the following resources according to their regeneration rates. You can do this by adding a number from 1 to 5 (with 1 being the fastest) next to each resource. You should also decide whether each of these resources is renewable or non-renewable and why.

Resource Regeneration Rate (number from 1 to 5, with 1 being the fastest) Do you think this is a renewable or non-renewable resource? Explain your answer:
Coal
Wood
Eggs
Water
Sunlight

Renewable Energy

1. Look at this image of different types of renewable energy. Can you identify them? What do you already know about these energy types?

2. Working in pairs you now need to generate questions based on the following statement:

  • What I DON’T know about renewable energy.

Each pair of students needs to generate at least fiv

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