Footprint Futures

www.footprintfutures.org.uk

Footprint Futures
The key stage 2 and 3 eco-footprint teaching resource from the Centre for Alternative Technology

Other Whole class in groups Activities

Things needed for this Module...

Solar Power Cans:
  • 4 aluminium drink cans of which:
    • 3 are painted with matt black paint (or blackboard paint) of which:
    • 2 have been insulated with pieces of insulation that is safe to handle – sheeps wool for example covering the back half or two thirds of the can of which:
    • 1 is placed in a clear plastic bag or container  such as a clear 2l bottle with the bottom cut off
  • Thermometer
  • Recording sheet
The Green House:
  • Downloadable activity from CAT (coming soon)
Walk the walk:
Regional plan - energy:
  • Hopefully the mystery guest will be able to stay for this session
  • Maps and aerial floor photo mats if you have them
  • Variety of media for recording
Power Up! – Solar Power:
  • Whole class in groups
  • Small photovoltaic cells, motors, crocodile clips and propellers (available from the Centre for Alternative Technology shop and other education suppliers)
  • Clean floatable materials – eg plastic bottles (with lids), cartons and cups and containers, rubber bands
Power Up – Wind Power:
  • EPK20850
    ‘Wind Kit’ from the Centre for Alternative Technology
    (or a wind power kit from another education supplier)
  • Bits of corriflute plastic and/or other suitable scrap materials like thin card and plastic, scissors, tape.
  • Large electric fan with wide blades, the ones which come in cages designed to sit on the floor are best. (tall bathroom fans with thin blades will not work so well.)
Mystery Guest:
  • Mystery guest from the sustainable energy industry. This could be someone who works to install renewable energy systems, or an engineer who designs them. It could be someone from the council with responsibility for energy efficiency, or someone who promotes energy efficiency. Or it could be someone from a local group such as Friends of the Earth.

Useful Websites

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

You will need:

  • Whole class in groups
  • Small photovoltaic cells, motors, crocodile clips and propellers (available from the Centre for Alternative Technology shop and other education suppliers)
  • Clean floatable materials – eg plastic bottles (with lids), cartons and cups and containers, rubber bands

<< Module Overview

Module 3: Energy

Power Up! – Solar Power

Power Up! – Solar Power

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This is a group activity which allows pupils to investigate solar electricity.

What to do:

In pairs pupils can experiment making circuits with small solar photovoltaic panels. Let the children experiment by taking them inside, outside, using artificial light and natural daylight, different angles, shading, etc. They can also try connecting the panels together.

As an alternative to plastic propellers, you could ask the pupils to decorate or cut shapes into small pieces of card. Use a needle to make a hole in the card to attach to the motor. Younger children especially will enjoy doing this.

After experimenting with the photovoltaic panels, you can let the children make model boats out of floatable materials to attach their solar rigs to. You can either use very small efficient plastic propellers underwater, or larger propellers which work best if their tips brush the surface of the water. The pupils will need varying degrees of help – many will be perfectly capable of connecting several panels together and building complex constructions without any guidance. Others will need more support. Once all the boats are finished you could have a race.

You might be surprised at what low levels of light photovoltaic panels can operate in, but obviously these activities will work better on a sunny day!

The role of solar electricity in Britain is important but can only contribute a very small percentage to the overall renewable energy mix that is needed, due to our climate and the sheer amount of electricity we consume.

fun experiment with solar powera solar powered model made by childrenrecylced solar powered boat

 
 

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