Resources – an Earth sciences unit

Resources is an earth and space sciences unit with no prerequisite knowledge aimed at 11-14 year olds.

Overview:

People of every time and culture have relied on nature for resources. We are no different today.

It’s important to know if the way we use resources will leave a healthy, productive planet for our great-grandchildren.

Introduction stimulates interest in resources with a recent Cosmos Newsblog post on discoveries about the animal resources used by the ancient Mayans.

Lesson 1 defines resource, distinguishes natural from synthetic resources, and introduces animal and plant resources. End-of-lesson quiz to test understanding.

Lesson 2 explains renewability and introduces non-living resources including rocks and minerals. End-of-lesson quiz to test understanding.

Lesson 3 explains the importance of energy and lists the world’s main energy resources. It introduces fossil and nuclear fuels. Project: energy at home. End-of-lesson quiz to test understanding.

Lesson 4 explains the motivation to adopt renewable energy and outlines how solar, wind and hydropower work. It looks at the advantages and disadvantages of the different energy resources. Activities: power station models and working steam turbine model. End-of-lesson quiz to test understanding.

Lesson 5 explains sustainability and looks at some examples illustrating overuse and harm. Project: sources of colour. End-of-lesson quiz to test understanding.

Science and society profiles an environmental science student working on a citizen-science soil project. As a societal issue we consider the ethics of our treatment of animal resources, in particular with respect to experimentation.