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Green Biker

  • Key Stage 3
  • Topical

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Communication
Topic: Atmosphere & climate change

Demand for green transport is growing. Companies are working hard to meet this demand. This activity gets students to evaluate eco-friendly motor bikes, and communicate their findings to the readers of Green Biker magazine.

This is a Climate Futures activity

Published: 21st May 2008
Reviews & Comments: 1

Learning objectives

Personal Capability Objective:
Communication – to justify opinions.
Science Objective:
To use scientific information and ideas to inform discussion and decisions.

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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.

Running the activity

Introducing the Task
• Use page 1 to introduce the context. Explore students' views on the bike, in particular what aspects of the bike might help to make it environmentally friendly. Discuss students' understanding of the terms 'green' and 'eco-friendly'.
• Use page 2 to illustrate hydrogen cell technology. Get students to respond to the discussion points on the sheet – you might like to allocate each discussion point to one small group. The information about the ENV bike will inform students' discussion but they should be encouraged to incorporate other knowledge and ideas.

Running the main task
• Put students into teams of 4. Use page 3 to introduce the task. Allocate one or two e-mails from this page to each team. Emphasise the points in the left-hand panel of the page – these are linked to the objectives. Give each group copies of pages 4, 5 and 6 to help them answer their e-mails. To reduce the amount of reading, suggest that groups allocate information about each bike to individuals or pairs in the team who then act as 'experts' on this bike.
• Students discuss and agree a response to their e-mails and prepare to justify their opinions. They must focus on the science and environmental issues.
• Get teams to read their responses to the class. Those listening check that they have completed both aspects of the task described on page 3.

Reviewing the Task
• Discuss with the students how they formed and then justified their opinions during the task. Ask for instances where scientific information and ideas were used to inform the discussion and decisions.
• Get students to review the task using the assessment for learning Smart Grid.

The dilemmas sheet (page 8) could be used as 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 task is completed by a making a difference activity that gives pupils a focus as to where and how they can explore things further. The make a difference activity is in effect a stimulus to further extended work and proactive involvement in engaging with the issues of climate change.

News links

Safe Routes to School
Encouraging cycling, walking and public transport for safe journeys to and from school
Centre for Alternative Technology
Reviewing how your family's transport might affect the environment
BBC News
Article about running the school's 'minibus' on bio-fuel

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?

Green Biker review

Mar 31st, 2014

5 Star

Use this with a low ability year 10 group who all have SEN. They found it easy to access the information and the amount of discussion generated was fantastic.

Reviewer: Lesley Duckworth