Energy and the Curriculum

Traditionally energy topics have been emphasized as a Science Topic. In reality energy is very much a life topic, which impacts on every aspect of our daily life and our learning. The topic is one which stimulates the imagination, debate and the desire to be creative. It is a wonderful vehicle for providing learning outcomes across all subject KLA's.

You can debate the topic, study the topic socially, scientifically or mathematically, creatively 'advertise' the topic or technically build and develop the topic. With energy we are limited only by our imaginations.

Science

Energy is traditionally a science subject.

  • Understanding energy, its principle of conservation and conversion
  • Understanding electricity - what it is, how it is produced.

However when it is considered in its wider context and impact on the environment the scientific study of energy is much broader and lends itself to exciting individual and group student research projects. It is a way to get life reality and fun into the surveying animals in a local ecosystem and observe how numbers change over time. Students can take ownership of their own energy problems and work towards solving them:

  • Investigating the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs
  • Designing an experiment to monitor the response of plants to changes in temperature and changes in carbon dioxide concentration.
  • Investigating the efficiency of generating electricity form renewable and non-renewable resources
  • Investigating the effectiveness of energy efficient products
  • Researching and designing an energy efficient house
  • Researching energy usage by the school, followed by suggestions on how to save energy

Technology

The interest and rapid development of renewable energy technologies currently occurring provides excellent opportunities for study and student development. Students can design and 'build' their own models of possible new solutions to current energy problems.

Students can examine energy efficient housing, or design school based projects and programs to encourage energy conservation.

Renewable Energy solutions by their nature are generally located in rural areas and as such the topic can be examined within the Agriculture context area of the curriculum. Other context areas easily examined include: Built Environment, Engineered Systems and Information and Communication.

The opportunity for students to design projects within the Energy context is large.

The Social Sciences - SOSE/HSIE

SOSE is ideal for the integration of energy education as environmental issues form the focus of many teaching units. Ecological sustainability is one of a number of values and attitudes underpinning learning and teaching in SOSE. Part of the rationale of the syllabus states that the future wellbeing of human society and its environment "depends upon the quality of people's interactions with their cultural, social and physical environment as they strive to meet each other's needs". Syllabuses in SOSE allow for the investigation of:

  • sustainable development
  • the interdependence between human and natural phenomena.
  • the variety of ways in which different societies respond to their environments
  • environments past and present and the potential consequences of economic decisions
  • global and Australian environments and how people manage these environments
  • the rights and obligations of individuals, social and business organisations and governments in their environmental interrelationships

English

Texts and media allow teachers to explore energy issues by examining such aspects as:

  • the techniques for writing articles and presenting reports
  • reading for understanding
  • researching and summarising information
  • the techniques used in media advertising
  • the techniques used for persuasive writing and lobbying
  • the point of view from which the text is written or directed
  • debating or discussing alternative points of view
  • the language used by the author to position the reader in a particular way
  • the techniques used by a director to position a viewer.

LOTE

One of the goals of learning language is to enable students to develop an initial understanding of the enriching nature of cultural diversity, and the similarities and differences in lifestyles.

Energy education may be incorporated into the Languages Other Than English curriculum through language activities based on examining the energy status, impacts and concerns for the culture of study. Environmental themes, or socio-cultural consideration of environmental issues as they relate to particular countries or language groups can also be examined.

Creative Arts

Energy provides topic in order to encourage understanding and appreciation of the physical environment (natural and built), and the socio-cultural environment.

Different media of display to provide a social message - photo journalism, poster art etc

Designing of websites and other creative media

Maths

Data from energy related experiments and activities can be used to develop mathematical skills:

  • Simple counting and recording
  • Collection of meaningful data
  • Organising and tabulating data
  • Graphing data
  • Extrapolation of data
  • Analysing and interpreting data

Health and Physical Education - HPE/PDHPE

The Health and Physical Education key Learning Area has a variety of outcomes, which can be linked to the objectives of energy education.

  • The importance of safe, clean environments to all living creatures
  • Analysis of societies priorities and how they are established.
  • Personal care and responsibility - having fun in the sun
  • Work and home safety issues in regard to electricity
  • Analysis of key issues relating to Australians Health and its impact by energy related issues
Data projectors can use up to 300 Watts of power (producing about 0.3 kg CO2/hour). Dimming or switching off lights when you're using a data projector can save as much energy as the projector uses.
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