Renewable Energies (Challenge Kit)

Updated Jun 05, 2024

Renewable Energies Challenge Kit

This kit was created to assist you in completing the Renewable Energies patch challenge. Included are facts, stories, crafts, games, recipes and other information that can be copied and distributed to the participants working on this kit.

Patch Requirements

To Earn The Patch

  • Sparks (5-6 yrs) need to complete 2 requirements from the list.
  • Brownies (7-8 yrs) need to complete 3 requirements from the list.
  • Guides (9-11 yrs) need to complete 4 requirements from the list.
  • Pathfinders (12-14 yrs) and Rangers (15-17 yrs) need to complete 6 requirements from the list.

Renewable Energies Patch

  1. Discover what non-renewable and renewable energies are.
  2. Think which renewable energy resources are available in your area.
  3. Take a group bike ride.
  4. Visit a hydroelectric plant or a wind power farm.
  5. Gather a group and put the jigsaw puzzle back together.
  6. Prepare one of the recipes using as much tasty local food as you could find.
  7. Make your own solar oven and use it to prepare Solar S’Mores.
  8. Solve the maze, the crossword, or the word search.
  9. Add some colours to the energies and energy-saving colouring board.
  10. Spot the 10 differences from a place using up all the fossil fuel and a place where people pay attention to energy saving and have encouraged the use of renewable energies.
  11. Find out which object needs electricity to work.
  12. Guess what people think about renewable energies.
  13. Gather a group and play Pictionary, Flying Scarf or Air, Water, Fire, Earth.
  14. Build a spintop, a kite, or a windsock and experience how energy is transferred from you to the spintop or from the wind to the kite and the sock.
  15. Create your own battery using lemons!

What Is Energy?

The Definition of Energy

What do you think it is? How do you materialize it? Where can you find it? 

Energy is a transferable kind of work that can take multiple forms. We see energy as heat, light, and movement. Heat and sunlight are one type of energy: for example lizards take ‘sunbaths’ to keep their body warm; plants use sunlight to grow. 

Energy can be stored as food, fuel, or electricity. Food is one type of energy: you can convert food in your body to stay warm or to keep moving. 

Gas or fuel as well as electricity can allow a plane to fly or a bus to transport people.

Of course there are a lot of places where food is seriously lacking but in the case of energy shortage we’ll be considering fuel and electricity as the two major forms of energy.

Energy usage: What do you think is the major consumption of energy? What have you done/ used today that requires electricity? 

Daily, we use a lot of energy for entertainment, cooking, transportation, lightning, heating/cooling homes. Industries also use a lot of energy to produce and transport food. While you can easily picture electricity and fuel that you consume at home, it is more difficult to evaluate how much energy brought your pineapple to your plate or how much it took to produce your T-shirt.

Fun Fact!

Energy is everywhere and it is transferable. Everything that moves needs energy. We use energy for everything we do from jumping to baking cookies, to driving cars or sending astronauts to space.

The History of Energy Usage

Over time, we have developed an understanding of energy that has allowed us to harness it for uses beyond basic survival. Since the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution, an increasing demand in energy is occurring to help us improve our quality of life and build new technologies. The invention of the steam engine was the center of the Industrial Revolution. The steam engine converted the energy stored in wood or coal into motion energy. As technology improved, steam was soon used to drive manufacturing of machinery and power locomotives, ships and even the first automobile. Coal remained the major fuel supply until the middle of the 20th century when it was overtaken by oil.

Industry, transportation, urban development, agriculture, and most other human activities are closely tied to the amount and kind of energy available. The availability of energy resources is constrained by the distribution of natural resources, availability of affordable technologies, socioeconomics policies, and socioeconomic status. A nation that has direct access to diverse sources of energy is more secure than a nation largely depending on foreign energy supplies. Access to energy resources, or lack thereof, affects human health, access to education, socioeconomic status, gender equality, global partnerships, and the environment.

Fossil fuels provide the vast majority of the world’s energy, but their supplies are limited. If society has not transitioned to sources of energy that are renewable before depleting Earth’s fossil fuel supplies, it will find itself in a situation where energy demand far exceeds energy supply. This situation will have many social and economic consequences.

Fun Fact!

Coal, Fuel and Gas are products that took several millions of years to materialize out of dense accumulation of dead plants. But we are using it faster than it takes to replenish this energy source.

Non-Renewable Energies

Fossil Energy

Most vehicles move on fuel combustion, and only a very small but growing percentage are electric or hybrid vehicles. Fuel is a non-renewable energy.

We get energy from coal, gas and oil from digging it out and burning it.

A non-renewable energy is a resource that is not replenishing itself and which amounts are dramatically diminishing with human consumption and will run out in our lifetime if we keep on using it that extensively.

Relying on fossil fuels for energy is a problem for many reasons:

  • extracting them from the Earth is a destructive process
  • once reserves are used up, we cannot create more
  • when we burn fossil fuels, we release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere 

Fuel is called a fossil energy because they are the product of old buried accumulations/conversions of dead plants/organisms. This accumulation and transformation took million years and we’ve almost burnt it all in one century, while the world stock didn’t get the time to replenish itself.

Canada is the sixth largest oil producing country in the world after Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United States, Iran and China.

Fossil energies are the number one factor responsible for greenhouse gas. In addition, we keep consuming more fossil fuels, which condemns them to disappear.

These are two excellent reasons to favor the use of renewable energies.

Renewable Energies

Unlike fossil fuels, which are finite in supply, renewable energies are inexhaustible because
they naturally replenish. This includes hydroelectric power, which is derived from flowing water, biomass such as wood, waste, biofuels, geothermal, solar, and wind.

Energy generated from renewable sources (also called clean or green energies) is less harmful to the environment because it does not use up the Earth’s precious resources, and is often less polluting than non-renewable sources of energy.

There is also a great advantage in using renewable energies: they are virtually free and they don’t belong to anyone (v.s. war and economy fluctuation over fuel).

Biomass

Burning leftover wood or crop wastes produces steam that can be used to enter a turbine, make it spin and create electricity. Biomass is a renewable source of energy because the energy it contains comes from the sun; through the process of photosynthesis, plants capture the sun’s energy. When the plants are burnt, they “release” the sun’s energy they contain. But to be renewable, the plants have to be grown sustainably. Biomass can be converted to other useable forms of energy, such as methane gas or transportation fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. Manure from farm animals can be used to generate electricity. The electricity produced often stays right on the farm where it powers light and machinery, but in some areas, the poop is powering whole neighborhoods. In a similar way trash can be used to generate electricity.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is found in underground reservoirs, but also rises to the Earth’s surface in the form of volcanoes, hot springs and geysers. It is possible to collect the hot steams that are below the Earth’s crust to directly use as heat or to convert into electricity. Geothermal energy is a reliable source of energy because it is generated continuously. It is the main energy source in Iceland.

Wind Energy

The heating and cooling patterns of the Earth’s surface based on the position of the sun creates wind (energy that comes from the power of moving air). The wind has been used since the earliest civilizations (5,000 years ago) to grind grain, pump water and power sailboats. Wind turbines convert the wind-induced movement of the blades into electricity. The best sites for wind farms are open areas at high altitudes. They need a minimum wind speed of 14 miles per hour to produce electricity. Wind is the second most important renewable energy source in Canada (1.6% of energy generation). 95% of Prince Edward Island’s electricity comes from wind. Wind has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source for the last seven years, and is expected to continue with falling costs of wind energy and the urgent international need to tackle CO2 emissions to prevent climate change.

Solar Energy

You can see some of the sun’s energy (sunlight) and you can feel the sun’s energy (heat). Without the constant flow of energy from the sun, the Earth temperature would be -237°C (-395F) and no life would exist. Solar energy reaches the Earth in the form of heat, light, and electromagnetic radiation, all of which can be collected to produce power. Photovoltaic cells made of silicon (sand) can collect the energy of the sunlight to convert it into electricity. Sunlight can also be used to heat water (your shower water). The largest solar power plant in the world is located in California Mojave Desert and is made up of 930,000 mirrors that convert the sun’s heat into electricity. Solar energy is renewable because the sun will continue to burn for billions of years. You can use small electronics that are powered with solar energy (solar garden light to illuminate your garden/path at night – the photovoltaic cells collect and store energy during the day and return that energy at night). Certain flashlight can also be powered with solar energy.

Hydro Energy

Hydropower is one of the first sources of energy used by humans; it was used as early as 250 B.C. by ancient Egyptians to grind grains. Hydropower can be captured from different forms of water movements such as river currents (by river dams), ocean waves and tides. Canada is the largest producer of hydropower in the world (it represents 59% of Canada’s
energy generation). Hydro energy is so far the highest renewable energy used and the cheapest. Although hydropower, largely in the form of water wheels, has been in use by human society for centuries, hydroelectricity is a more recent phenomenon. The first hydroelectric power plants were built at the 19th century and by the middle of the 20th century were a major source of electricity. As of 2010, hydropower produces more than 15% of the world’s electricity.

Fun Fact!

Enough sunlight falls on the Earth’s surface every hour to meet world’s energy demand for an entire year. The Sun will continue to burn for billions of years.

How Does A Turbine Work? 

Since most of the renewable energies necessitate a turbine to transform wind or biogas energy into electricity, let’s describe the components inside. Basically, the wind, water or the hot steam makes blades spin and this spinning engages a rotor made of magnetic parts. The revolution of these magnetic parts inside the rotor is what generates electricity.

Fun Fact!

Did you know wind can be used as a source of energy for electricity? In Minnesota, a wind farm with 122 wind turbines produces enough energy to power almost 50,000 homes.

Are Renewable Energies The Solution?

Renewable energies, are they the solution? Why do you think there are still people against using renewable energies?

While renewable energies produce a lot less CO2, there is also a great advantage in using renewable energies: they are virtually free and they don’t belong to anyone (v.s. world war and economy fluctuation over fuel). But these energies remain expensive to harness.

Aside from the look and noise, it’s true that renewable energies are not yet a durable option unless they expand 10 to 20 times compared to what is actually here. Today, renewable energies are not captured at a sufficient level. The energy facilities still need to expand.

Renewable energies often relies on the weather: hydro generators need rain to fill dams to supply flowing water, wind turbines need wind to turn the blades, solar collectors need sunshine to collect heat and make electricity. For now it only supplies 16.9% of Canada’s
electricity.

And it is more expensive, but if we use less energy, we will be able to buy these types of energies.

The components of wind turbines or photovoltaic cells have a 10 to 20-year lifetime, and only some of their components can be recycled; the others are waste. Scientists are now working hard to make energy harness systems safer that live longer and with a better yield.

Fun Fact!

While we cannot get back to how we used to live a few centuries ago without electricity or cars, it is essential that we use what’s left of the fossil fuel with caution and parsimony (don’t waste it) while at the same time researchers are implementing new techniques to use renewable energies like wind, agriculture waste, sun etc.

Fun Fact!

The tides (the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the Moon, the Sun and the rotation of the Earth) can be exploited to generate electricity as water movement would lead to rotation of a turbine. Nova Scotia is home to the only commercial tidal power generating station in Canada.

Energy Saving

It is important to understand the impact we have on the environment. One person may seem like a drop in the ocean, but if one person switched off a 60 Watt light bulb for one hour it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.4 grams. If one quarter of the people on the planet right now made the same decision, over 150,000 metric tonnes of CO2 could be saved; that is like switching off 200 average sized coal power stations for an hour. This has an impact.

How do you think you can consume less energy?

  • Save resources in and around your home:
    • Recycle and reuse
    • Turn off the light when leaving a room
    • Turn off electric appliances (the standby mode still consumes a lot of energy)
    • Improve house insulation (or put a sweater instead of turning the heat on)
    • Use the Economy program on a dishwasher, washing machine etc.
  • Reduce the use of fossil fuels:
    • Carpool, public transportation, or bike
    • Buy local: local food is always tasty and ripe
    • Use solar or hand-powered flashlights
    • Switch to sustainable energy solutions
    • Speak out to make a difference

Recycle and use reusable material: paper and tissues require a lot of energy for their production.

Improve in-house isolation to reduce the use of heaters and AC. The ideal temperature in a house is 19-20°C (66-68F) in the winter and 23-24°C (73-75F) in the summer.

Use eco-friendly appliances and turn them off (not standby) when you’re not using them. Compact fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.

Forget the screensaver; let the computer monitor go to sleep or turn it off to save the most
energy.

Buy local food as often as possible (products that travel by air have a footprint of almost a
hundred times higher than the products that travel by boat). Local food is more tasteful and ripe because it doesn’t have to travel.

Individually, these are small actions but taken together; they make significant energy savings.

Fun Fact!

Earth Hour: Every year in March at
8:30pm to 9:30pm local time, everyone is
encouraged to turn off light and electric
appliances to raise awareness about
climate change. Main buildings also usually
have their non-essential lights turned off.
Here is the official website of Earth Hour
supported by WWF, proposing ideas on how
to get involved and what’s happening in
your area to support that initiative: http://
www.earthhour.org/ Enjoy this hour to do
something different. Play board games with
your family and friends, or dine with candles.

Craft Overview

  • Build a Fire Out of Food
  • Build a Spintop
  • Build and Fly a Kite
  • Build a Wind Sock

Craft: Build a Fire Out of Food

Materials

  • Pretzels sticks for the wood
  • Twix bar as tree logs
  • Marshmallow for rocks
  • Orange and lemon peels for fire
  • Corn candy for the flames
  • Yellow, orange and red M&M’s as hot coals
  • Dry papaya chunks for embers
  • Chocolate chips for burnt wood pieces (charcoal)

Steps

  1. Dispose the marshmallows on a 5 to 6 inches circle, as rocks delimiting a campfire.
  2. Place the Twix bars and/ or pretzels as tree logs on top of each other in a star-shaped disposition.
  3. Scatter dry papaya and/ or M&M’s around the Twix bars or pretzels as if they were hot coals.
  4. You can add to that chocolate chips for burnt wood pieces.
  5. Add on top orange and lemon peels and/or corn candy to make the flames.

Craft: Build A Spintop

Materials

  • Thin cardboard circle (2 to 2.5 inches) Can be drawn using a compass or a glass to make a perfect circle
  • Scissors
  • Matches
  • Colour pencils

Steps

  1. Draw a 2 to 2.5 inch circle in a piece of thin cardboard. Cut it out. Colour the wheel.
  2. Make a small hole in the very middle of that circle and put the match through (head down).
  3. Now, spin the match with your fingers. This is a transfer of your energy to the spintop that makes it spin.

Craft: Build And Fly A Kite

Materials

  • 2 hard-wood dowel, 5mm in diameter: one 20 inches long (51cm), the other 24 inches (61cm)
  • nylon flying line / knitting yarn works too
  • Solid garbage bag, tissue paper, crepe paper or newspaper
  • 15.75 inches (40 cm) x 2 inches (5 cm) fabric for the tail

Steps

  1. Lay sticks down on your workspace in the shape of a cross – one on top of the other.
  2. Using a string, tie the sticks together where they meet, making sure to keep them perpendicular to each other.
  3. Pull and knot the string tightly.
  4. Glue the paper on the sticks.
  5. Pierce 2 holes in the diamond-shaped paper. On the inside corner where the two sticks cross, thread a thick string.
  6. Do the same at each end of the sticks. Take the two strings attached to each end of the shorter stick and tie in the middle. At this point attach the flying line very tightly.
  7. Attach the strip of fabric to the bottom of the kite as a tail. This helps the kite fly with added stability.

Warnings

  • Do not try flying the kite in the rain, as the paper may tear.
  • Pay attention to the weather, you don’t want to get struck by lightning.
  • Do not fly close to power lines as they will damage the kite and possibly even electrocute you if the strings were wet.
  • The heavier your materials are, the more wind
  • will be needed to get the kite up in the air.

(Reference: wikihow.com/Make-a-Kite)

Craft: Build A Wind Sock

Materials

  • 1 US letter-sized construction paper
  • 1 to 2 meters of crepe paper
  • Glue, tape, or stapler
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • 20 inches (51cm) yarn, wire or string

Steps

  1. Paint, draw or add stickers on the construction paper.
  2. Roll the paper up, end to end, then tape, glue or staple them together.
  3. Cut crepe paper in long strips (15 to 20 inches long) and glue around the bottom inside the windsock. You can also glue the strips before rolling the cardboard together.
  4. Punch two holes in the top of the windsock, directly across from each other.
  5. Feed yarn, wire or string through the holes and tie a knot at the end.
  6. Hang it in the wind. It gives you the strength and the direction of the wind.
  7. To make it waterproof and last longer, use a can instead of construction paper and cut the long strips from a plastic grocery bag.

Recipe Overview

  • Apple maple pancakes
  • Local fruit pie
  • Pumpkin apple smoothie
  • Local berry jam
  • Lemon cranberry scones
  • Solar S’Mores
  • Savory carrot scones

Recipe: Apple Maple Pancakes

Ingredients 

(Makes 5 servings)

  • 1 apple (from a pick-your-own-fruit orchard or farmer’s market), peeled, cored and cut into small cubes, previously quickly pan- baked with maple syrup and cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 table spoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg and/or ground cloves

Steps

  1. Quickly roast the apple with maple syrup and cinnamon in a pan.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Whisk milk, egg, vegetable oil, maple syrup and spices together in a separate bowl. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until blended.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil on a griddle over medium heat, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until bubbles begin to form on top of pancakes, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until second side is golden brown, 2 to 4 more minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

Recipe: Local Fruit Pie

Ingredients

(makes one 9-inch pie)

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 pre-made pastry pie crust for a 9-inch double crust pie
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cups of chopped fruits (from a pick-your-own-fruit orchard or farmer’s market), peeled, cored and sliced

Steps

Take your group to a local orchard and make them pick their own fruits (rhubarb, apple, pear...), or get some fruits from the farmer’s market.

  1. Preheat oven to 425F (220°C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water and brown sugar, and bring to boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the apples. Cover with a lattice work of crust.
  3. Bake 15 minutes at 425F (220°C). Reduce the temperature to 350F (175°C) and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Recipe: Pumpkin & Apple Smoothie

Ingredients

(makes 2 servings)

  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 6oz. Greek yogurt (vanilla or apple cinnamon flavored)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup apple puree
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup milk

Steps

  1. Place chopped banana in blender.
  2. Add yogurt, pumpkin and apple puree, spice and maple syrup.
  3. Pour in milk and blend for 1-2 minutes (until smooth and well mixed).
  4. Share into two glasses and enjoy!

Recipe: Local Berries Jam

Ingredients

(makes 5 cups of strawberry jam)

  • 2 lb fresh strawberries, hulled, cut in half
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Sterile glass jars with lid

Steps

Take the group to a local pick-your-own-fruit farm and make them pick up their own fruits (Saskatoon berries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries - the last two have spikes so just be careful). You can also make this recipe with rhubarb.

  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Increase heat to high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.
  4. Boil, stirring often, until the strawberries get soft (from 1 to 2 hours).
  5. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, just refrigerate.
  6. f you want to keep it for later, transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace and seal. Screw the lid on and flip the jar upside down.

Recipe: Lemon Cranberry Scones

Ingredients

(makes 8 scones)

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 lemons – get about 2 tablespoons of zest and ½ cup of juice
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 stick butter, melt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180°C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt.
  3. Stir in the cranberries.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice together with the melted butter. Then add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended.
  5. Pour the liquid mix into the dry ingredients and mix until it comes together as a dough.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, place dough on a baking sheet and form into a circle, flattening the top until dough is an inch thick. With a knife dipped into flour, cut the dough into 8 pie-shaped pieces.
  7. You can sprinkle the top with granulated sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until scones are lightly browned.

Recipe: Solar S'mores

Ingredients

(makes one serving)

  • 1 large marshmallow (or 4 small)
  • 1 graham cracker
  • 1 chocolate bar

Steps

  1. Break the graham cracker in half and put it in the bottom of the glass baking dish of the solar oven.
  2. Place a chocolate bar on one half of the graham cracker. Place the marshmallow on the other half.
  3. Cover the pan with the clear glass lid, and place it outside where it will be in direct sunlight.
  4. Wait for the marshmallow and chocolate to melt.
  5. Put the chocolate and the marshmallow crackers together and enjoy!

Recipe: Savory Carrot Scones

Ingredients

(makes 8 scones)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 stick butter, melt or 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180°C).
  2. Mix together flours and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add cumin seeds, salt, carrot and cilantro.
  3. Combine milk, lemon juice and egg in a separate bowl.
  4. Pour it into the scone mixture until it comes together as a dough.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, place dough on a baking sheet and form into a circle, flattening the top until dough is an inch thick. With a knife dipped into flour, cut the dough into 8 pie-shaped pieces.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until scones are lightly browned.
  7. Better served warm.

Games and Activities Overview

  • Which objects need electricity to work?
  • What people think about renewable energies?
  • Visit a wind farm or an hydroelectric plant
  • Spot the 10 mistakes
  • Colouring energies colouring boards
  • Transfer of energy: ride your bike
  • Flying scarf
  • Pictionary
  • Air, Water, Fire, Earth
  • Light up a bulb with citrus
  • Make a solar oven out of a pizza box

Fun Fact!

Before the great expansion of fossil fuel use (with coal in the late 1800’s), wood was the primary fuel used in Canada. In Florida, wastes from sugar cane farms manage to provide electricity for an entire neighbourhood (60,000 homes). In Wisconsin a company uses manure from three farms to generate electricity for up to 2,500 homes. The natural degradation of manure produces methane gas that can be burnt to generate electricity.

Game: Which Objects Require Electricity to Work?

Materials

  • Pen
  • Printout of eight objects

Instructions

Draw circles around the objects that require electricity to work.

Game: What Do People Think About Renewable Energies

Materials

  • Pen
  • Printout of statements

Instructions

Draw a happy face in front of the statements that are pro-renewable energies or a sad face next to those that are against renewable energies.

Statements:

  • Photovoltaic cells look ugly on my roof.
  • Wind turbines make a lot of noise.
  • Wind and sunlight are free.
  • Wind and sunlight are not reliable every day.
  • Hybrid cars pollute less.
  • Renewable energies are more expensive than fuel.
  • Fuel availability lead to political and economical fights.
  • Hybrid cars are more expensive.
  • The material used to harness sunlight or to build a wind mill are expensive and can largely not be recycled yet

Activity: Visit a Wind Farm or a Hydroelectric Plant

Materials

  • None required

Instructions

Visit a wind farm or a hydroelectric plant if you have the opportunity.

Game: Spot the 10 Mistakes

Materials

  • One coloured pencil
  • Printout of the Renewable Energies and Fossil Energies colouring boards (See page 49 and 50)

Instructions

Compare the Fossil Energies and Renewable Energies colouring boards and draw a coloured mark (such as an X or a circle) on each of the 10 dissimilarities between the two drawings.

The 10 Differences Are:

  • fumes from a car
  • no windfarm on a mountain
  • motor boat
  • regular roof
  • waterfall
  • tumble dryer
  • a traffic jam with cars
  • one person car
  • freight plane
  • lot’s of regular garbage bins
  • hybrid car, no fumes
  • a windfarm on the mountain
  • sailboat
  • photovoltaic cells on the roof’s solar panels
  • dam on the waterfall
  • outside drying line
  • buses
  • bikes and pedestrians
  • farmer’s market
  • recycling bins

Game: Colour The Energies Colouring Boards

Materials

  • Crayons
  • Printout of the Renewable Energies and Fossil Energies colouring boards (see page 49 and 50)

Instructions

Colour every renewable energy and the method used to harness it on the Renewable Energies colouring board, and every non-renewable energy and the method used to harness it on the Fossil Energies colouring board.

Game: Transfer of Energy: Ride Your Bike

Materials

  • One coloured pencil
  • Solar, dynamo, or mechanically powered flashlight
  • Go before it’s night

Instructions

Show them what motion energy is: your legs are making your bike move, and the wheel spinning is making energy that is used to power the dynamo light. Solar or hand-powered flashlights work with electricity made out of solar energy conversion or manual motion.

Game: Flying Scarf

Materials

  • One scarf or large and colourful piece of fabric

Instructions

  1. Make the group seat in a circle.
  2. The leader stands in the middle of the circle and throws the scarf in the air while saying one of the person’s name (A).
  3. That called person (A) has to stand up, run in the middle of the circle and catch the scarf before it touches the floor.
  4. Then that same person (A) calls one other name (B), who’s person has to stand up, run and catch the scarf. (A) goes back sitting in the circle. And so on.

Game: Pictionary

Materials

  • Paper or paper board
  • Pencil
  • Timer (1 minute)
  • List of words

Instructions

  1. Split the group into 2 competing teams.
  2. One person of each group comes to draw on the board. Show these 2 persons the word to be drawn.
  3. Without a word (spoken or written by the two persons) the teams have one minute to discover what word is that their team mate is drawing.

List of Words

  • Energy
  • Light Bulb
  • Wind Farm
  • Sail Boat
  • Hot-air Balloon
  • Bike
  • Sunlight
  • Local Food
  • Dam
  • Tide
  • Recycle
  • Pollution
  • Turbine
  • Flashlight
  • Steam
  • Wind
  • Water
  • Battery
  • Steam Boat
  • Photovoltaic Cell
  • Electricity
  • Fossil Energy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Heater
  • Air Conditioning
  • Kite
  • Parachute
  • Biomass

Game: Air, Water, Fire, Earth!

Materials

  • Just yourself!

Instructions

  1. Allow the group to get an idea in their head on how to represent each element. Discuss how each one of the elements is essential and can be used as energy.
  2. The group walks around the room until the leader calls, “Begin” and you must pair up with the person closest to you.
  3. Each person decides which element they will be without telling his partner.
  4. The leader counts out loud, “One, Two, Three, GO!” and on “GO” everyone should strike a pose.
  5. Air beats water; water puts out fire, and fire grows with air and, therefore, beats it.
  6. The winners continue to move in the room, the others have to sit down.
  7. If the leader shouts “Earth” instead of “Go,” all players should lie down as quickly as they can. The one that lies down last must sit out.
  8. Keep going until only one player is left.

Game: Light a Bulb with Citrus

Materials 

Makes 1 LED and 3 Lemons.

  • Minimum 3 big lemons (the LED will shine brighter with more lemons, best one lemon per person)
  • 1 LED
  • 3 Canadian pennies (they are covered with 4.5% copper) to make the anode (negative pole of the battery)
  • 3 Zinc cut washers or zinc galvanized bolt to make the cathode (positive pole of the battery)
  • 4 (or number of lemons +1) insulated lead wires with “alligator clips” on each end

Instructions

  1. Gently roll the lemons back and forth on the table with your hand flat. This liberates the lemon juice with citric acid (the electrolyte) inside the lemon.
  2. Cut 2 small slots at least 1 inch apart on every lemon. Insert a penny in one and a bolt in the other. Insert them as deep as possible to have the largest contact area inside but keep just enough to attach the clips.
  3. Attach the clips as follow: one wire needs to touch a penny on one end and a bolt on the other end. The two clips at the extremities are going to be connected to the LED. On the side where a bolt is last, plug the clip to the short leg of the LED; on the side where a penny is last, plug the clip to the longest leg of the LED.

Game: Build A Solar Oven Out Of A Pizza Box

Materials

  • 1 Large, recycled pizza box
  • Ruler
  • Black marker
  • Cutter
  • Glue 
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • Clear plastic wrap
  • Black construction paper

Instructions

  1. Draw a square on the pizza box lid, 1 inch away from the edges of the box. Cut through 3 sides of the square, leaving the line at the rear of the box attached. Fold to the back so it stands up when the pizza box lid is closed.
  2. Cover the inner side of the flap with aluminum foil, which would reflect sunlight into the oven. Glue the aluminum foil, flatten out wrinkles. It has to be totally flat smooth surface.
  3. Glue a layer of aluminum foil to the inside bottom of the pizza box for insulation.
  4. Cover the aluminum at the bottom with a sheet of black construction paper, glue it. The black piece will absorb sunlight and generate more heat inside the pizza box/ oven.
  5. Cut 2 square pieces of clear plastic wrap, one inch larger than the opening. Open the pizza box and tape one piece of plastic to the inner side of the hole. Now close the lid and tape the second plastic sheet over the outer side of the hole. This creates a window that keeps the sun heat in the box.
  6. Close the lid and you’re ready to start cooking.
  7. Put your s’mores inside the box, directly on the black paper or on a plastic wrap. Close the box, leave the window open.
  8. On a bright day place your solar oven in direct sunlight. Orientate the flap to the best reflective angle, Use a straw or a ruler to keep it open.

Puzzle Overview

  • Labyrinth: The path to renewable energy and energy saving
  • Jigsaw puzzle: What is Energy?
  • Crosswords
  • Word search

Fun Fact!

What happens during the night? What happens on a day without wind?

Renewable energies like Wind and Sun are not always available, but when they are, we can collect enough energy to use when the wind stops blowing or on rainy days. It is possible to stock that energy in batteries to use it later.


Maïlis Bietenhader

This Meeting Plan was researched and written by our intern Maïlis Bietenhader.


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