Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students will work with power output figures in watts, megawatts and horsepower. They will calculate using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and make conversions between units of measurement. Figures are drawn from the real world operations of Hydro Tasmania.

Activity developed in partnership with  tasmania_hydro_200x84_300pxl

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.

Learning goals:

  • Students develop and practise their skills in arithmetic calculations using calculators and problem solving skills.
  • Students develop skills in interpreting and working with units of measurement of energy.

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 Mathematics

  • Connect fractions, decimals and percentages and carry out simple conversions (ACMNA157).
  • Find percentages of quantities and express one quantity as a percentage of another, with and without digital technologies. (ACMNA158).

Year 8 Mathematics

  • Carry out the four operations with rational numbers and integers, using efficient mental and written strategies and appropriate digital technologies (ACMNA183).
  • Solve problems involving the use of percentages, including percentage increases and decreases, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA187).

Topic: Hydro Tasmania, Energy.

Syllabus Outcomes: MA4-1WM, MA4-2WM, MA4-3WM, MA4-4NA, MA4-5NA

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity.

Resources required: Internet access, Power maths – resource sheet, calculators, Student Worksheet (one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework and extension.

Keywords: Energy, power, mathematics, Hydro Tasmania. 

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will develop and practice their skills in arithmetic calculations using calculators and problem solving skills. Students will also develop skills in interpreting and working with units of measurement and energy.

Teacher background information: Energy is the lifeblood of our modern life. It gives us light and keeps our food fresh. It powers our industry, fuels our cars, and charges our iPhones. Our energy is produced by burning fossil fuels and this has a range of environmental, social and economic impacts. One of the most significant is the emission of greenhouse gases. A solution is the transition to clean energy sources. The brilliant thing is that we have huge amounts of free, renewable and clean supplies of natural energies. These include sunlight, wind, running water, oceans and underground hot rocks.

According to the Clean Energy Australia Report 2013:

  • 14.76% of Australia's electricit
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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Where does the term 'horsepower' come from?

Use the figures on the Power maths - resource sheet to complete the questions below. You may use a calculator.

Simple calculations involving multi-digit number sets

1. What is the combined power output of Paloona Power Station, Parangana mini-hyrdo and Poatina Power Station? Write your answer in megawatts:

2. Convert the answer to the previous question into horsepower:

Explain in words the steps you took to complete this calculation:

3. How much less power is produced at Lake Echo than Bastyan Power Station? Write your answer in megawatts:

4. Which power stations produce less than the output of Butlers Gorge Power Station?

Calculating statistical values

5. What is the range between the highest and lowest power outputs among these stations? Express your answer in megawatts:

Explain how you arrived at this answer:

6. What is the median power output figure across all of these stations? MW

7. Which power statio

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