- What is ESD?
- Review Process
- Take Action
- Professional Development
- A project of
This ESD resource combines experiential learning activities, student handouts and summary assignments in engaging lessons that address renewable energy and sustainable development. Lessons highlight the benefits of using green technology to produce electricity as compared to fossil fuels.
The package focuses on the key components and processes used by solar cells, wind turbines, steam turbines, hydroelectric power plants (flowing water), and fuel cells in generating electricity.
Teachers may choose to explore all or some of the following resource components.
Lesson 5A: Solar Energy
Activity 1 : Video Clip:Everything Comes From the Sun
After discussing how energy is produced by the sun, students use a graphic organizer to explore the source of different forms of energy (wind, hydroelectric, biofuels, fossil fuels, nuclear). They create and film a short role play, news clip, or documentary (using a phone or digital camera) to highlight the fact that all energy does come from the sun.
Activity 2 : Experiment: Solar Efficiency
This ‘hands-on” activity allows students to investigate the efficiency of a typical solar cell by comparing the voltage produced from a cell in full sun to a known mass of water evaporated by the same amount of solar radiation.
Summary and homework activities include an essay discussing solar energy, a mind map demonstrating the interconnectedness of solar cell components, and short response questions addressing the key concepts.
Lesson 5B : How Do We Make Electricity form Wind Turbines?
Activity 1 : Discussion: Vertical and Horizontal Wind Turbines
After discuss their personal experiences with wind turbines and examine large scale diagrams of both vertical and horizontal turbines. Using a t-chart, students identify differences between the two types and discuss the physical reasons for the differences.
Activity 2: Making a Model Wind Turbine
Students design and create a model wind turbine. They test their designs with regards to the workability of the blades and discuss why some turbine designs work better than others.
Summary activities include an essay on the formation of wind, a mind map of the various ways to improve wind turbine performance and short response questions addressing the key concepts
Lesson 6: How Do We Make Electricity from Steam?
Activity 1 : Discussion: Rewriting the Generator
Using information found in the key points and background information provided, students fill in the missing pages of a generator manual.
Activity 2 : Demonstration: Steam Generation
Teachers demonstrate two of the main processes involved in steam generation- the conversion of water to high pressure steam and using steam this steam to rotate a turbine shaft.
Homework ideas include an essay on how to turn water to steam using renewable energy sources, creating a mind map that shows the key steps to electricity generation and short response questions dealing with the key concepts.
Lesson 7 : Flowing Water: How Do We Make Electricity from Flowing Water
Activity 1: Discussion: Using Waterways for Energy
Students explore the energy in water, the various sources of water, and how water is converted into useful energy.
Activity 2: Experiment: The Force of Water
Students build a device from 1L milk cartons to investigate how hydroelectric facilities use the energy stored in bodies of water to create hydrostatic pressure.
Summary activities and homework ideas include writing an essay on how ocean currents and tides can be another source of energy, researching and creating a mind map of the many kinds of hydroelectric designs from around the world, and answering response questions related to key concepts.
Lesson 8: Fuel Cells: How Do We Make Electricity from Gas?
Activity 1: Experiment: Splitting Hydrogen
This lab allows students to carry out the electrolysis of water and create hydrogen fuel.
Activity 2: Multi-media: ‘Fuelm Chips”
Groups of 2-3 students apply their knowledge of fuel cells to create a two minute film clip detailing the important characteristics of one of six types of fuel cells. These are then presented and discussed with the class
Summary activities and homework ideas include writing an essay on the various uses of hydrogen fuel cells, creating a mind map that details the physical processes involved in fuel cells, and answering short response questions related to the key concepts.
This resource could be used as a supplement for an electricity/electrical technologies unit in a science class or to promote environmental awareness and sustainable development in environmental science, physics, social studies, and geography classes. It could also be used as a "stand alone" enrichment unit in any of the above.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Satisfactory|
A positive bias regarding the need to develop attitudes, technologies and processes to encourage sustainable development is presented. Students gather facts, information, and make their own conclusions.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The complexities of environmental issues and sustainable solutions are recognized. The resource provides some thought-provoking activities and assignments that encourage students to promote green energy technologies.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Poor-no authentic action experiences are included.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
The resource gives students the opportunity to do some self reflection and identify their own values regarding the lifestyle and technological changes that must occur to move towards sustainable development.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
Although there is no out-of-doors experience, the many activities that support sustainable development will promote stewardship.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Various activities allow students to see the effects of past practices and to highlight the current situation. The future is seen as positive only if the students see the value of sustainable living and supporting sustainable energy development.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Students are able to discover answers on their own through guided inquiry.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This is primarily a science resource but there are opportunities for addressing outcomes in social studies, geography, technology, media arts, and language arts.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The resource provides a wide variety of activities to address a range of learning styles. There are no accommodations suggested for students with learning difficulties. Students will require age-appropriate reading skills to successfully complete assigned work.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
Some assessment tools are provided but there are no rubrics for evaluating student work.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Poor/Not considered|
There sre no case studies.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
Although the resource is specific with regards to content and the medium in which students work, there are opportunities to delve into chosen issues with good support from suggested resources.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|