National Science Week and the cataclysmic energy crash
During National Science Week a disaster of planetary dimensions occurred, and only one small group of Darwin students were aware of it.
A major geological catastrophe caused coal-fired power stations to shutdown, galvanising Nakara Primary School students to address the global energy shortfall by investigating alternative energy sources.
In the research challenge triggered by the sudden energy deficit, the young scientists immediately probed the practicalities of solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal and biomass energy, as options to save a world running on a 10-year countdown to complete power failure.
The valiant attempt to create a more sustainable Earth involved conceptualising and modelling substitute energy sources.
Teacher Tahlia Scheermeijer said the task was “open-ended” and there were no limitations on “where students took their ideas to solve this real world problem”.
“Some students are creating electrical circuits using fans, motors, lights and solar panels, integrating these into models built using cardboard, 3D printing and Lego,” she said.
“Another group designed an entire world using Minecraft Education to illustrate how the planet could run on geothermal power.”
Investigators Han, Mana and Feifan, said they are working to beat the doomsday clock by applying unlimited energy resources that don’t release greenhouse gases.
And online identifications of energy forms and how they operate were complemented by the practical exercise of finding the cost of installing solar panels at a house.
Ms Scheermeijer said: “During National Science Week we decided on a challenge for the students that connects to the sustainable living and digital technologies part of the curriculum.”