ENERGY & YOU
Energy programs focus on our current dependence on fossil fuels, their impacts on the environment and alternative solutions e.g. renewable energy, energy efficiency.
Duration of activities: ~ 50 minutes
Available for: Grade 3 to 6
You can mix and match activities from two different programs.
- Discuss current electricity generation and use in Australia
- Learn about the formation of fossil fuels. Handle samples of coal and see oil and natural gas
- Generate electricity with human power: ride a bike to power a fan, hair dryer, and TV
- See a real miniature thermal power station in action: burning fuel to generate electricity
- Discuss issues associated with fossil fuels, including climate change and the carbon cycle, and potential local and global solutions
- Learn about sources of electricity currently in use at CERES, in Australia, and globally
- Participate in hands-on renewable energy activities in the Energy Park. Depending on the weather, students will investigate and operate examples of photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind power, hydro power, and bioenergy
- Discuss the advantages and limitations of different renewable, and their place in a sustainable society
- Explore the inside of the Eco House: a fully functioning example of energy-efficient housing
- Discuss energy usage at home, and use up-to-date statistics to look at ways energy is wasted and can be saved
- Explore interactive displays and exhibits to learn about insulation, double glazing, standby power use, double glazing, lightbulb and downlight comparisons, heating and cooling, and draught proofing
- Learn about design features of the EcoHouse such as passive solar design, solar water heating, the grid-interactive photovoltaic system and the Zero-Emissions electric vehicle (when available)
- Discuss and draw the Carbon Cycle and explore its link to how solar radiation affects the earth
- Play the Sunbeam Game to find out how CO2 in the atmosphere can influence global temperature
- Test for CO2 and discuss the impacts of human activities on atmospheric CO2 levels and climate
- Consider the types of human impacts and the personal changes we can make to reduce these
- Conduct a ‘black balloon’ style test on a vehicle’s exhaust emissions
- Consider the kinds of decisions you will make in your life between now and 2050, the sort of life you want to lead, and the world you want to live in
- Travel through the 2050 trail, making decisions in a specially designed quiz/survey, to see how your decisions impact on the wider world, based on real current statistics
- Discuss the effects of human activity on the environment and climate change
- Discuss why humans make decisions which harm the environment, and how we can be more aware of our impacts
Only available for Grade 5 to 6 students
- Introduce or clarify the principles of environmentally sustainable building design
- Explore the buildings around CERES, discussing and comparing the features of sustainable and unsustainable buildings
- Observe real-world functioning examples of: passive heating and cooling, insulation, recycled, local, and natural building materials, sustainable timber, double glazing, orientation for solar energy, window design, planting for thermal comfort
- Collaboratively design a hypothetical sustainable building
- Learn to analyse the design of other buildings where we live, work, play and visit
Only available for Grade 5 to 6 students.
- Based on your current lifestyle, discover how much air, land and water (our biosphere) you use in your daily life by doing your very own Ecological Footprint
- Consider your demands on the planet for food, transport, shelter, goods and services and absorption of wastes
- How does Australia’s average ecological footprint compare with other nations? What can each of us do to reduce it?
Only available for Grade 5 to 6 students.
- Explore energy concepts of power, Watts, joules, etc. and how these relate to appliance energy use
- Everybody rides the human-powered bikes that generate ‘grid-feed’ electricity while monitoring individual power outputs and total group energy production
- Can the group produce enough electricity to run common appliances like lights, kettle, music and run a microwave oven long enough to cook some popcorn for a re-energising snack?
- Compare the human-powered energy output with that of a fossil-fuelled vehicle. How far could you ride with the equivalent energy that a car uses to drive you to school?