Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Activities for Energy futures

Here are activities to help with the teaching of this topic.

Introduction
A set of powerpoint slides to stimulate discussion on the relationship between energy consumption and quality of life.
Powerpoint:Energy, standard of living and the quality of life (1.0 MB)

How much energy?
This short activity introduces students to some of the units used for energy and power though a set of calculations.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.0 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (62 KB)

Renewable energy for a Nepalese community
This activity is loosely based on a project run by RIDS-Nepal in remote mountain communities in Nepal. Students learn about life in the area and about some of the possible options and then plan a scheme for providing energy to meet the needs of a typical community.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.8 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (74 KB)

Case Study - Why did B & Q stop selling wind turbines?
This activity is designed to help students prepare for the Unit 4 assessment. Students study press articles and pages from a technical report evaluating small scale wind turbines before answering questions based on the data.
Teacher notes and student sheets (1.6 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (70 KB)

Could we meet our energy needs with renewables?
Students build up a balance sheet of energy needs and renewable resources using information from David MacKay’s online book Sustainable energy – without the hot air. They read the relevant sections and summarise the arguments for the rest of the class.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.7 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (41 KB)
Powerpoint: Balance sheet for renewables (105 KB)
Powerpoint: Renewable realities (190 KB)

Costs and benefits of a Severn Barrage
This is a teacher-led activity. It uses the example of the proposed Severn Barrage Scheme to introduce some of the challenges involved in assessing the costs and benefits of large energy schemes. Students get the necessary information from three short films.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.0 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (45 KB)

Risks and Nuclear Power
This activity is based on material drawn from the HSE report called The tolerability of risk from nuclear power station. You can downloaded the full report here. Despite its age, the report is still interesting.
Teacher notes and student sheets (3.8 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (84 KB)
Risks and nuclear power presentation (6.7 MB)

The Nuclear Power Debate
This activity builds on the experience of discussion, debate and the development of argument skills in the AS course. The topic of nuclear power continues to be highly controversial. A wide range of sources is available. This makes the topic a good one for a debate.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.6 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (55 KB)

Problem based learning – the Future of Coal in the UK
In this problem based learning activity for topic 5, students will work in groups to understand the technical, environmental and policy issues related to coal as a fuel for generating electricity.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.8 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (73 KB)

Energy Futures
This activity is based on the development of scenarios.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.3 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (76 KB)

Risk and Uncertainty in Policy Making
This activity looks at how decisions are made when the evidence available is uncertain.
Teacher notes and student sheets (2.1 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (49 KB)

Exam style question: A Hydrogen economy for transport
This is a Unit 3 exam style question on the choices of hydrogen or rechargeable battery for powering cars.
Teacher notes and student sheets (1.7 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (66 KB)