Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Sources and the Future of Mankind

An exercise in decision-making, cooperation, respect, thinking about the future

The students are split into equally large random groups. Each group has the same amount of time available to study information about various energy sources.
Based on cooperation, they have to decide whether it is better to continue drawing easily obtainable, but limited and exhaustible sources like coal, oil, and gas, or if it is better to focus on inexhaustible, but not so easily obtainable sources – solar energy, hydroelectricity, nuclear energy, geothermal power, energy from the biomass.
Students in groups present their views to the rest of the class in a form of a presentation with reasoning and try to convince them that the result of their research is the most suitable for the future of mankind.
Based on the discussion and respecting the opinion of the schoolmates, the class should arrive at a single conclusion.

How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives

  • Attitudes and attributes
  • Education techniques
  • Motivation and resilience

Actual outcomes

Educational objective: Assessing the importance of various energy sources for the future of mankind
Qualities in focus: Decision-making, cooperation, respect, thinking about the future
Target group, age of the students: 12–16 years of age
Suitable for: Physics, Natural Science

Resources required

Encyclopaedia, general knowledge of energy sources, Internet, worksheets (which are in the attachments to this entry).

Time needed

1–2 units – unit = 45 minutes

What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?

The students tried to resolve the uncertain future of energy sources and justify their views in front of the class.
First there were efforts to assert one’s opinion at all costs, but over time, the views of the others were respected, too. In the end, the students decided almost unanimously that renewable sources are the mankind’s way to the future.
This activity is suitable for the second level of primary school – it is always necessary to use information proportionate to the students’ age. It can also be used with primary-level students, with simplified information.

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