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Smart Energy

  • Key Stage 3
  • Popular Activity
  • Topical

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Communication
Topic: Human impacts

Through energy use, each UK home creates around 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Much of this is the result of electricity generation. In this activity, students look into the pros and cons of the Smart Meter – an innovative device that tells people how much each appliance is using at any one time. Students then make plans for possible energy futures, before considering dilemmas related to energy use.

This is a Climate Futures activity

Published: 21st May 2008
Reviews & Comments: 1

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Learning objectives

Personal Capability Objectives:
Tenacity – to avoid giving up easily
Communication – to justify opinions.
Science Objective:
To use scientific information and ideas to inform discussion and decisions.

Try the activity

You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.

Ages 11-14

KS3 Science National Curriculum (from September 2008)

Key concepts: Applications and implications of science
1.2a - Exploring how the creative application of scientific ideas can bring about technological developments and consequent changes in the way people think and behave.

Key processes: Communication
2.3a - Use appropriate methods to communicate scientific information and contribute to presentations and discussions about scientific issues.

Range and content
3.1a - Energy
3.4c - Human activity and natural processes can lead to changes in the environment.

Running the activity

Introducing the Task
• Use page 1 to introduce the context. Get students' immediate feelings about how they feel about making a doorstep pitch.
• Display page 2, and tell students they are responsible for promoting the Smart Meter concept. If you wish, give each group a copy of this page.
• Give each small group a copy of page 3. Students use the information from this page along with page 2 to help plan their pitches.
• Pupils rehearse and then perform their pitch to peers; peers rate the pitches for effectiveness.

Reviewing the Task
• Discuss how students made sure that their pitch had impact. Ask for instances where they used scientific information to inform their decisions.
• Get students to review the task using the assessment for learning Smart Grid (Page 4).

The dilemmas sheet (page 5) is a basis for discussion about situations where individuals or organisations have to make decisions – and possibly compromises – about environmental issues. Individual 'dilemmas' could be allocated firstly to pairs, then to teams of 4 to 6 and then fed back to the whole class. The class could be encouraged to set up a dilemmas board to extend those shown on the sheet. Students would add additional dilemmas and their suggested responses.

Make a Difference
The make a difference task is an online task using page 6 as support and the web based BBC energy calculator. The activity encourages pupils to think of electricity generation in a balanced way weighing up projected costs for electricity against environmental impact.

News links

BBC Electricity Calculator
The BBC Online Electricity Calculator can be used to support the Make a Difference activity on page 6 of this task.

The electricity calculator gives students the opportunity to choose how you would like the UK's electricity to be generated in 2020.

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?

Solar System activities

Oct 4th, 2008

5 Star

This is such a difficult subject to make accessible for students. Thanks for creating so many engaging activites. Let you know which ones the students really enjoy
Esther Hunt
Sheldon Heath Arts College

Reviewer: Esther Louise Hunt

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200 lessons and assessments from as little as £4.95

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