Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre logo

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 9542 1951

Investigating energy


Program overview

Students explore energy and electricity, using a range of engaging resources, such as model generators, dynamos, solar ovens and solar panels. Students will learn about electricity generation, energy sources and energy transformations.

Session details

75 minutes. Up to 3 sessions (one class each) per day.

Key syllabus outcomes

Stage 4

  • Students collaboratively and individually produces a plan to investigate questions and problems (SC4-5WS)
  • Students discuss how scientific understanding and technological developments have contributed to finding solutions to problems involving energy transfers and transformations (SC4-11PW)

Stage 5

  • Students produce a plan to investigate identified questions, hypotheses or problems, individually and collaboratively (SC5-5WS)
  • Students apply models, theories and laws to explain situations involving energy, force and motion (SC5-10PW)
  • Students explain how scientific understanding about energy conservation, transfers and transformations is applied in systems (SC5-11PW)

Learning experiences

Generating electricity

Students build or observe a model electricity generator using a coil of wire and a magnet. They identify the three variables (number or coils, strength of magnet and speed of relative motion) and predict how to increase the electricity generated.

Students relate the model and a model generator to a power plant. Students identify that electricity is generated by turning a turbine (other than solar or battery) and in Australia a majority of electricity is generated by burning coal.

Energy sources

Students brainstorm and identify a range of energy sources. They observe a model wind generator and hydro generator. Students experiment with dynamo torches, model wind turbines and hand crank power generators.

Energy transformations

Students observe a variety of energy transformations through demonstration and hands-on models. They ride the energy bike to demonstrate the transformation of kinetic to electrical energy, along with observing the different amounts of energy to power different types of light globes. They use scientific metalanguage to describe various energy transformations. They observe the transformation of solar energy to heat energy by heating garlic bread in a solar oven.