Energy is something we use every day in Scotland, but how many of us know where it comes from, or how is it produced? Our increasing reliance on technology means we are using more electricity than ever before, while worldwide one in five people still lacks access to modern electricity. For example, just 9% of Malawi’s 15.9 million people have access to the electricity grid.
Without electricity, many things we take for granted become very difficult. Cooking and heating require sourcing firewood or charcoal to burn, and water must be gathered by hand and boiled before drinking - both time consuming tasks that overwhelmingly occupy the time of women and girls.
Burning fossil fuels like coal and oil uses up finite resources and releases CO2, which contributes to climate change, a serious issue, facing everyone all over the world.
These resources will get you started on the topic of Energy:
Low Carbon Skills
These film resources have been made by pupils in schools across Scotland. Through making these resources, the young people involved have developed key skills and knowledge that will help them in life and work, why it’s so important to know where products come from and why businesses are encouraged to operate more sustainably to lower their carbon footprint. These films will perhaps encourage your pupils to take action and make better consumer and life-style choices.
Scotland Lights Up Malawi
Scotland Lights up Malawi was a partnership project sponsored by Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group and part funded by the Scottish Government. The project supported Scotland’s ambitions for climate justice by raising awareness of the need for solar lights for Malawi, undertaking research into climate justice and educating children both in Scotland and in Malawi.
Climate Challenge Fund - Energy Efficiency
The Climate Challenge Fund supports projects that involve energy efficiency. These projects aim to reduce carbon emissions from energy use by working with households in their community to reduce energy use. Projects can help households install energy efficiency measures, promote locally sourced wood fuel, promote home renewable technologies and reduce energy consumption through behaviour change.
EDF Energy - The Pod
The Pod is EDF Energy’s award winning education programme, and is an interactive website for teachers, community group leaders and children. It has free lesson plans, practical activities, assemblies, films, games and information, all with cross curricular links.
BBC Terrific Scientific - Forces Investigation
As part of the BBC science campaign Terrific Scientific, this investigation will help your pupils to think and work like a scientist, looking at how forces affect speed and how athletes use air resistance to improve their training.
The Terrific Scientific Power investigation has launched!
By taking part your class will be working with scientists at the University of Edinburgh who want to find out how much electricity it takes to run your school. Over two weeks you will look at your school's use of electricity, and then turn 'Electric Detective' to find out if there are ways you can reduce the amount required and make a saving. The scientists at The University of Edinburgh really want you send them your findings so that they can build a picture of how primary schools across the UK use power, and you'll be able to compare your savings against other schools on the Terrific Scientific map!
World's Largest Lesson: Energy and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development
A free, downloadable classroom activity for 8-11 year olds for Geography and Science examining the link between sustainable energy production and poverty reduction.
World's Largest Lesson - Goal 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
World’s Largest Lesson introduces the Sustainable Development Goals to children and young people everywhere and unites them in action. Download lesson plans, comics and other resources on energy to use in your classroom.
Young People's Trust for the Environment - Energy Factsheet
The Young People's Trust for the Environment is a charity set up to encourage young people's understanding of the environment. They have produced some brilliant resources including this factsheet on Energy including various forms energy can take and the story behind humans, energy, fuel and the environment.
Energy and Climate Change
The way we create the energy we use has implications for the planet. Energy generation is a significant contributor to climate change, causing 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.
Finding the energy balance which recognises the need for economic development and environmental protection is a priority for most developed countries and an increasing number of developing ones. Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
The Scottish Government's 2050 energy vision sets the target of 50% of Scotland's heat, transport and electricity to be supplied from renewable sources by 2030. Moving to renewable sources of energy generation will help Scotland meet its climate change targets.
Energy Case Studies
Linlithgow Bridge Primary School
Pupils at Linlithgow Bridge Primary School explored the Eco-Schools Energy topic in vertical learning sessions, making excellent links to the Sustainable Development Goals through a series of innovative activities. Read more.
Towerbank Primary School
Pupils at Towerbank Primary School worked hard to reduce their school’s energy use through an Enerchange project in partnership with University of Edinburgh, an energy pledge and a No Energy Day. Read more.
Dreghorn Primary School
Pupils at Dreghorn Primary School aimed to raise awareness of energy efficiency throughout the whole school community and to develop energy smart practices with staff, pupils and parents. Read more.