Energy is all around us and it cannot be destroyed. We depend greatly on fossil fuels but one day this source of energy will run out so we need to ensure that we have alternative ways to find energy sources. Examples of this could be wind power and solar power. I found a short YouTube clip that explains energy in a simple way and also discusses the different types of renewable energy and gives examples of the use of energy in everyday life which would be a good video to show the lower to middle primary’s when discussing this topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyVF6R9e6xE. An Experience and Outcome that would link in well when teaching energy could be: “I am aware of different types of energy around me and can show their importance to everyday life and survival” SCN1-04a.
In the energy workshop we did a debate which would link to political literacy within the classroom integrating different parts of the curriculum together. Debate can be adapted to any area of the curriculum and can also be used in any environment. In this workshop we were split in half. One group was arguing for wind turbines and the other group was arguing against wind turbines. We all started off by looking at articles and information on the topic separately then came together as a group to to form the arguments which our group was looking at against wind turbines and this approach could be used in the classroom. We then nominated five people from our group to give our arguments against the other half of the group which was for wind turbines. I found this workshop very useful as we were all able to work together and share ideas to form our arguments to use in the debate. During the debate there was an expectation to listen to everyone that was speaking and this is an integral skill not only for me as a teacher to have but also for the pupils to learn and work on. This means that the pupils gain respect for the people who are talking and presenting their arguments to the group. This type of activity also allows confidence to be gained and developed.
In another workshop we looked at electricity and practical ways to teach and demonstrate this within the classroom safely. We did a quiz working in pairs which is a good way for collaborative skills to be developed as I will need this skill as a teacher and can also teach the pupils in my class to work collaboratively when working on different aspects of their learning. Working collaboratively is also UWS Graduate Attribute. There was then various experiments to carry out like a circuit series which entails learning what parts connect together correctly to make the light bulbs turn on. Once the pupils had learned how to make the lights work they could create something using the circuit like an ornament or even a game. I found an experience and outcome that links well with the circuit making which was – “I can describe an electrical circuit as a continuous loop of conducting materials. I can combine simple components in a series circuit to make a game or model.” SCN1-09a We also looked at static electricity and using solar power to make a Lego car move. All of these experiments are fun ways to show how electricity works and also allows the pupils to be interactive in their learning.
In the following week of the energy topic we looked at a structured approach versus a tinkering approach to learning. When we went into the workshop we had no idea what we were doing, our group was tinkering. We were told to make a vehicle out of the many materials that had been left at the front of the room. We could use whatever materials to create the vehicle as we had been left with no instructions. I worked in a group of three and we made a royal mail van as the hard plastic that we used was red. I enjoyed this workshop as we had the freedom to make whatever we wanted and we also had to experiment with the materials to see what would work to ensure that the vehicle would be able to move on it’s own. This allowed me to be creative which is one of the UWS Graduate Attributes and I find that this is a valuable skill to have as for example when planning lessons I will be able to be creative to ensure my approach to teaching the pupils is engaging. The other half of our year had looked at a structured approach and had been given a set of materials and instructions to follow to make their vehicle. A structured approach ensures no mistakes are made, everyone’s end result is the same however a tinkering approach allows more freedom. I would definitely use both approaches within my classroom when teaching various topics.
UWS Graduate Attributes (online). Available at:
Scottish Government, Education Scotland, 2017, Curriculum for excellence: Science experiences and outcomes. (Online) Avaliable at: