Activity Introduction

gen-y-electric-bus-photoframeQuick summary: Students will explore a good news story about alternative vehicle technologies, particularly the trial of an electric bus in Perth. Students begin with a prior knowledge activity to assess their existing knowledge of alternative vehicle technologies and then dig deeper into electric vehicles. They will then analyse the case study of the electric bus in Perth. Following this, students will work in groups to investigate other existing and emerging vehicle technologies and present their findings to the class. Finally students are asked to think about which of these technologies could be applied to their local community and how these would benefit their community.

genyes_logo_180px_v2The Generation Yes project engages and represents the generation who are saying ‘YES’; yes we can work together to change climate change! This project seeks to help all Australians be part of creating a compelling, optimistic and solutions-focused future for our country.


Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand that energy efficient transport can help us change climate change.
  • Students will recognise that there are a range of different energy efficient transport options and will recognise some of the features of these different technologies.
  • Students will understand how to analyse a case study about electric vehicles, and will be able to apply their learnings from this case study to developing their own ideas for alternative transport options in their community.
  • Students will recognise how to critique their project ideas and make recommendations for improvement.

21st century skills:


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 Science

  • Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)

Year 9 and 10 Design and Technologies

  • Critically analyse factors, including social, ethical and sustainability considerations, that impact on designed solutions for global preferred futures and the complex design and production processes involved (ACTDEK040)
  • Explain how products, services and environments evolve with consideration of preferred futures and the impact of emerging technologies on design decisions (ACTDEK041)

Syllabus outcomes: SC5-11PW, D&T5.3.1, D&T5.3.2, D&T5.2.1.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.6, OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Science achievement standards: Students predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives.

Relevant parts of Year 9 and 10 Design and Technologies achievement standards: Students identify the changes necessary to designed solutions to realise preferred futures they have described. 

Topic: Climate change, Generation Yes.

Unit of work: Generation Yes.

Time required: 120 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee discussions, lead students in case study analysis and project development.

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. CASE STUDY – Australia’s first electric bus. Electric vehicle technologies factsheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, Google Maps.

Keywords: Generation Yes, climate change, net zero emissions, deep decarbonisation, transport, electric bus.

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


Teacher Worksheet

gen-y-electric-bus-photoframeTeacher preparation

Learning intentions: Students will understand that energy efficient transport can help us change climate change. They will understand that there are a range of different energy efficient transport options and will recognise some of the features of these different technologies.

Success criteria: Students will:

  • Be able to analyse a case study.
  • Be able to develop and critique their own project.
  • Be able to communicate their ideas to the class.
  • Know how energy efficient transport can help us change climate change.
  • Know about some of the different types of energy efficient vehicle technologies.


Teacher content information: In 2015, leaders from around the world came together to discuss our climate future. This was the 21st meeting of this kind, and it was the one that finally resulted in an agreement. The message was clear: we must and will transition to a net zero emissions future.


The international community has committed to holding global warming

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What does your car of the future look like?

What do you already know about alternative vehicle technologies?

Team up with a classmate and ask each other the following questions. Write the answers in the spaces provided on the table below:

Questions Answers
1. What types of vehicle technologies are already available (e.g. petrol, gas, electric, hydrogen-cell)? Which ones are widely used and which ones would be considered ‘emerging technologies’?
2. Why are we exploring different technologies?
3. What are the problems with current technologies (e.g. environmental and human health)?

Electric vehicle technologies

Before you look at the case study of the electric bus, find out a bit more about electric vehicle technologies by looking at the Electric vehicle technologies factsheet. Once you have read it, team up with a classmate to complete the following table:

3 things that I didn’t know about electric vehicles 1.
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