This week we learned about the different forms of energy that sustain our lives from the varying types of renewable energies to fossil fuels. The main focus on the inputs was the benefits of renewable energy and how we can teach this to future pupils. We received 2 inputs one that detailed the specifics of energy and a debate arguing the benefits of having a wind turbine implemented.
The session outlined quickly that fossil fuels are limited and will run out within our lifetime and that as result we need to be able to rely on renewable energy in the future to survive. Interestingly the different types of fossil fuels will run out in the next 45 years for oil, 72 years for gas and 252 years for coal. The oil statistic is particularly striking and emphasises just how crucial it is that we depend more on renewable energy as it is sustainable and does not contribute to climate change on such a huge scale like fossil fuels. It was suggested to rely more on the likes of electricity generated from wind turbines or dams. Another potential way to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels is to find alternative ways to power vehicles. The hydrogen fuel cell was the most impressive sounding of those suggested as it has no carbon emissions, can be created from simply water and is very energy efficient.
The debate was a refreshing new way of learning a comprehensive view on a controversial issue. Originally in groups of four we researched different articles to find points that both covered for and against arguments. After we completed that we were joined with other groups until the class formed two teams where one was for wind turbines whilst the others were against. My team was against wind turbines which introduced a new sort of challenge as it required us to argue our point despite the fact we didn’t agree with the overall decision. I felt this improved my debating skills and got me thinking more strategically as I devised counter points that could be used if they made a good point. After our group noted down the different points that could be made we elected 4 people to present it and argue the debate for us. I felt my teamwork skills being used greatly as I aided in delegating which group member is best saying which point and how. The debate commenced and despite the other team making some excellent points that I personally fully agree with I felt that our team eventually won the debate.
The independent task this week was carried out on campus and allowed us to participate in 3 different activities that could be done in schools with pupils to help provide awareness about renewable energy. The first task we completed was to create an anemometer. This task was fairly straightforward although hole-punching the cups was more problematic than I first anticipated. Once constructed we tested outside and got little success with the wind but managed to record it as 4.8RPM. This activity I would do with pupils in schools as they are relatively easy to construct and can be tied in with other topics such as maths and science as to find the RPM you need to know the circumference and the formula to get it.
The next task we completed was the construction of the pinwheel which was made particularly colourful by more artistically gifted teammates. This task could also be excellent to do with pupils as it ties in with art and allow them to express themselves.
The final task we completed was contracting a kite made out of a bin bag which was a bit more complicated to create and therefore I would recommend for upper primary if done in class. The kite was however of varying success as it would gain flight so long as someone would run with it the whole time.