Geography KS3/4: Renewable energy

Most household energy is used to heat our homes and generate hot water.

Engineering expert Marty Jopson shows a number of families from Stonehaven on the East coast of Scotland how to use free renewable energy resources.

He shows them how to use solar energy to produce a solar air heater that could be used in their homes.

This is built using mainly empty aluminium drinks cans, which absorb the sun’s light and heat (thermal) energy, to heat cool air which is then pumped into a house to heat it.

The temperature difference between the cool air and the heated air is impressive.

Wind energy is also examined and used by building a small wind turbine from an old bicycle wheel, bicycle chain, wooden post and tape.

The small turbine converts the wind energy into kinetic energy that is used to power a 350 watt kitchen blender.

The size of the turbine and wind speed are also mentioned as possible ways to increase the amount of kinetic energy produced.

This clip is from the series Save Your Energy.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 3

This clip could be used to support renewable energy lessons.

Students could use these two ideas and research other possible energy saving schemes that could be used in their homes or schools.

School STEM clubs might want to explore renewable energy and try out these ideas and activities.

Key Stage 4

This could be used for a cross-curricular STEM-based project.

Students could try and build one of these engineering activities in class.

Maths, Design and Technology and Science departments could be involved.

School STEM clubs might want to explore renewable energy and try out these ideas and activities.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Geography at KS3 and GCSE in England and National 4/5 in Scotland. Appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA.

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