How many inventions can you name that use energy? Build a timeline to see how our energy use has increased over time.
Brainstorm inventions that use energy. Choose one to research and create a timeline of energy inventions. In a talking circle, reflect on the impacts of increased use of energy on the environment.
Note: Dates listed are approximate. Technologies evolve and change from the original design to patent to production to mass market use. The purpose of the activity is for students to see and understand that humans are constantly inventing and creating new technologies, appliances and machines that use energy and electricity. More things = more need for energy.
When researching online, students need to evaluate their sources. Some key points to review as necessary:
As well, when researching a date for when something was invented, students may come across conflicting dates. Discuss why this may be, including technologies evolving and changing from the first original design to patent to production to mass market introduction and use.
Demand for energy is growing. Transportation, heating, cooling, appliances and more all need energy sources. When we use energy and resources we impact the environment including the plants, animals, water and air. In 20 years, B.C.’s demand for electricity is forecast to increase 40 to 60 per cent over what we use today. That’s like powering five additional cities the size of Vancouver each year.
Conservation and energy-efficiency are two ways to reduce our energy demand and impact on the environment. Energy conservation and being smart with the way we use energy reduces our demand for electricity and plays a key role in meeting our future energy needs. Zero-emission vehicles, energy-efficient products and choosing renewable energy sources are just a few ways that we can reduce the impact of our energy use on the environment. Most electricity in B.C. is generated from a clean and renewable source: water. Wind, biomass, solar and geothermal energy sources are also being explored in B.C.
Learn ways to save energy with lighting in this video.
Talking circles are important in Indigenous cultures as part of the oral tradition and as a way to share thoughts and ideas. The purpose of the talking circle in this activity is to provide an opportunity for students to share their thoughts and ideas about the impact of energy use in a circle, where everyone can see and listen to each other. The circle represents the Indigenous perspective that all living things, including humans, are interconnected and none are more important than the other. This is relevant to a discussion about the impact of our energy use on the environment and living things.
A talking stick or special object is passed around the circle and is used as a communication tool. Whoever is holding the stick can speak and share their ideas without interruption while others in the circle listen respectfully. Everyone is encouraged to share, but students may choose to skip their turn if they wish. When speaking, students are encouraged to use “I”-statements and share their own thoughts and ideas.
First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) recommends visiting First Nations Pedagogy Online to learn more about using sharing or talking circles.
What is the future of transportation? Learn about innovations that reduce the impact on climate change.
Investigate energy use at school and come up with ways to reduce electricity use and combat climate change.
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