Quick summary: Students explore one way that water can be used to generate power by creating a water wheel. Students begin by thinking about all the ways that we can use water and focus on how we can use it for energy. Students are asked to make predictions about their water wheels and record observations.
Activity developed in partnership with
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.
- Students understand that water can be used to generate electricity.
- Students understand that a water wheel is a technology that can be used to move water and harness the energy in water.
- Students make predictions about how their water wheels will respond to running water.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability – OI.8.
Australian Curriculum content description:
Foundation and Years 1 & 2 Design and Technologies
- Explore how technologies use forces to create movement in products (ACTDEK002)
Year 2 Science
- Earth’s resources, including water, are used in a variety of ways (ACSSU032)
- Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE034)
Syllabus outcomes: ST1-8ES, ST1-9ES, ST1-4WS
Topic: Hydro Tasmania, Energy.
Time required: 60 mins
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee activity and lead or assist in construction of water wheel
- Cool Australia’s How to Make a Water Wheel Instruction Sheet
- Waterwheel image
- Two circles of cardboard of the same size, at least 15cm in diameter
- Some small plastic or cardboard cups of the same size (number will depend on the size of your cardboard circles and the size of your cups)
- Stapler and staples or masking tape
- Bucket or trough
- Long stick long enough to comfortably rest across the bucket or trough
Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities (extension).
Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.
Keywords: Water, wheel, energy, hydropower.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.