Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

Can you imagine never running out of energy? As in, EVER? In this Block, we will see that this is one of the best things about renewable energy! It is also good for our planet, and it is transforming the way we live.

Energy is at the heart of everything that we do. Without it, there would be no life on earth, as all living organisms require energy to function. Not only do we need energy to live, we also use energy for all of our activities that are an essential aspect of our lives: we need energy for transportation, cooking, light, and heat. It is precisely because we will always need energy that we should focus on using sources of energy that never run out, like sources of renewable energy.

The use of renewable energy also produces less pollution than non-renewable energy sources. The term renewable energy refers to energy which comes from renewable sources like the Sun, wind, rivers, and waves. For some more information about this definition, please click on this link from Britannica.

Here are two videos to learn about renewable energy:

Take A Deeper Dive!

This video explores the fact that, while renewable energy is a wonderful thing, there are some challenges to facilitating its widespread use.

This video focuses on the rising popularity of solar power.

Wind energy is another type of renewable energy source that is being utilised much more frequently, as seen in this video.

Activities

My Very Own Solar Oven!!

For this activity you will need the following materials:

  • 1 Pizza box
  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate
  • Aluminium foil
  • Pencil, pen or marker
  • Plastic wrap/piece of plastic
  • White school glue
  • A sheet of black construction paper
  • Utility knife
  • Shipping tape or black electrical tape
  • A wooden skewer, pencil or stick
  • A lovely, bright day!! (Choose a spot that’s not too windy)

Use a clean pizza box, and on the top of the pizza box’s lid, draw a square that is about one inch inside each edge. CAREFULLY, using a utility knife and the ruler to make sure the edge is straight, cut along each side of the square you just drew. Do not cut the side that runs along the hinge of the box. Cut all the way through the cardboard on those three sides of the square. Then fold the flap back slightly along the attached side. 

Line the inside of the cardboard flap with some aluminum foil,  and fold the edges of the foil over the flap to help hold the foil in place and glue the foil onto the flap. 

Then, you need to cover the opening made by the flap (in the lid) with a layer of plastic wrap or transparent plastic.. Attach the plastic wrap or plastic to the opening’s edges using tape. Next, glue or tape a sheet of black paper to the bottom of the box, in the centre. 

As a final step, use a wooden skewer, pencil, or stick, as well as some tape to prop up the solar oven’s lid at about a 90 degree angle from the box. You are now ready to make your s’mores!

Using the graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, prepare a s’more and put it in your solar oven, on top of the black sheet of paper. Put the solar oven outside in direct sunlight for at least 30 minutes, and make sure that the oven is turned so that the flap faces the sun. ENJOY!!!

Build A Wind-Powered Car!

For this activity you will need:

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Construction paper or cardstock
  • Wooden skewers (3)
  • Plastic straws (2)
  • Plastic bottle caps (4)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Hobby knife

Cut out a piece of cardboard to form the body of your car, then tape two straws to the bottom of your car, one at each end to form the axles. Make sure the straws are parallel.

Carefully use the hobby knife to poke a “+”-shaped hole in the center of each bottle cap. Watch the video above so that you can see exactly how to do this. Insert a wooden skewer through the hole in one of the bottle caps, and then thread the other end of the skewer through one of the straws. Push a bottle cap onto the end of the skewer opposite the first bottle cap, and…..TAH-DAH!!! You have  just made an axle with the first two wheels…YAY!!

Now, repeat those steps to make the other axle.

Make sure the axles can spin and the wheels  can roll smoothly without getting stuck.

Use the hobby knife to poke a small hole in the middle of the cardboard, and insert a wooden skewer straight upright into the hole to create a mast. Use lots of tape to keep it secure. However, if it is still unsteady, you can watch the video above to see how you can build a diagonal support out of a piece of cardboard.

Cut out the shape for a sail from a piece of paper, and insert  the upright skewer through both ends of the sail to hold it in place.

Put your car in a spot with some wind, and watch as it speeds off!

Advanced Activity

The Energy Island

Consider the plan of the Green Island presented in the video, and the advantages and disadvantages of this project. There are very few disadvantages mentioned, and those that are are not explored very deeply. Conduct your own research about the possible advantages and disadvantages of this type of project.

Books

Click on a book to buy it from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library.

Read Aloud Book