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Renewable Energy

Full Day
Book Program
Year Levels


As the consequences of burning fossil fuels become widely understood, societies worldwide are looking to renewable energy as a potential solution to the threat of climate change. But how do renewable energies work? How do we take the potential energy held in a renewable resource and turn it into electricity?

In this program students will investigate the scientific principles behind two forms of renewable energy, and will investigate how the cars of the future can be powered with renewable sources. They will model hydro and wind power systems in order to gain a greater understanding of energy transformations and emerging trends in renewables. Students will also explore some of the potential benefits and consider the costs of using renewable energies in the future.

Prior Knowledge

Some basic knowledge of energy forms would be an advantage.

Key Learning Question

What are the scientific principles behind renewable energy?

Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Explore the different forms that energy appears in, and how devices such as renewable energy systems can change energy from one form to another.
  • Learn about the generation of electricity from a range of renewable and non–renewable resources.
  • Identify the engineering and technology challenges involved in implementing and improving renewable energy solutions.
  • Gain an understanding of the principles of scientific method, including identifying experimental variables.


The students will:

  • Conduct experiments that examine the optimum conditions for the design and operation of wind turbines and hydroelectric generators.
  • Investigate how the future of cars – electric vehicles – can run on renewable energy.

Victorian Curriculum

Science – Science as a human endeavour

  • Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (VCSSU090)

Science – Earth and space sciences

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (VCSSU100)

Science – Physical sciences

  • Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat, light, chemical energy and potential energy; devices can change energy from one form to another (VCSSU104)

Science – Planning and conducting

  • In fair tests, measure and control variables, and select equipment to collect data with accuracy appropriate to the task (VCSIS109)

Science – Analysing and evaluating

  • Use scientific knowledge and findings from investigations to identify relationships, evaluate claims and draw conclusions (VCSIS111)

Design and Technologies – Engineering principles and systems

  • Analyse how motion, force and energy are used to manipulate and control electromechanical systems when creating simple, engineered solutions (VCDSTC045)

Critical and Creative Thinking

  • Synthesise information from multiple sources and use lateral thinking techniques to draw parallels between known and new solutions and ideas when creating original proposals and artefacts (VCCCTQ034).

Learning Continuum

The following Learning Continuum is a guide for teachers to show the links between the programs. Ecolinc offers onsite, online and through outreach. The Learning Continuum can be used to access Ecolinc resources to support the development of units of work.

Ecolinc Learn Online is an online learning management system offering interactive online courses for students and teachers. These courses can be undertaken either as a pre-visit, post-visit or stand-alone. Students are encouraged to do the pre-learning course before coming to Ecolinc for an onsite program.

Learn Online Pre-program:

The best things in life are free

The Scientific Method


Renewable energy