Course details

Sustainable Futures

Year level

7 - 8

Duration

2 Days

Level

Beginner

Max students

56

Course details

Sustainable Futures

INDUSTRY FOCUS AREA: New Energy, Advanced Manufacturing
VICTORIAN CURRICULUM LINKS: Science, Digital Technologies, Personal & Social Capability, Critical & Creative Thinking
TECHNOLOGY USED: Renewable energy kits – wind turbines and solar panels, STELR housing kits, Hydrogen electrolysis and fuel cell

Introduction
Sustainability can be defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A key part of a sustainable future is building more resource efficient homes. Using good design principles can save energy, water, and money while creating a more enjoyable and comfortable home. There is also worldwide pressure to reduce CO2 emissions and move towards renewable energy sources. The Victorian government has set a target of 25% renewable energy production by 2020, increasing to 40% by 2025i. New industries are proposed for the Gippsland region including OSMI wind farms, solar farms, Star of the South offshore wind turbines, and the Marinus electricity link between Tasmania and Victoria.

Program Summary
Over the course of two days students will be introduced to a variety of different types of renewable energy and explore principles of energy efficient housing design.
On day one, students will investigate principles of energy efficient housing by carrying out experiments with different insulating and glazing materials. They will investigate sources of heat loss using infrared thermal imaging cameras, design, and build a model house incorporating the design principles they have learnt.
On the second day students will investigate the advantages and disadvantages of solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro energy, conducting experiments with solar and wind energy. They will produce hydrogen from electrolysis and use a fuel cell to produce electricity from the hydrogen. The learning from the two days of the program will then be used to design, build, and test a model city powered by renewable energy.
Taking part in this program, students will collaboratively:

  • Conduct experiments to understand different types of renewable energy
  • Conduct experiments investigating principles of energy efficient housing design
  • Use design thinking principles to design and carry out their own experiments
  • Design, built, and test a prototype

Career Links:
Artisans: machinery operators, electricians, carpenters
Designers: architects, product testers, draftspersons
Engineers: civil, construction, electrical