Renewable Electricity? What are the options?

Teaching Standards 2.1.2, 2.3.2, 6.2.2

Audience:  High school science and geography teachers.

Purpose: To equip high school science and geography teachers to tackle the issue of renewable electricity generation by providing a balanced overview of the various options required to provide electricity in the future while minimising environmental damage.  

Focus of Course: Providing technical details on the various renewable technologies to provide electricity in the future and on conducting a realistic evaluation of these technologies.

Type of Course: Short (2 hour) online course

Content: Based on a section of the current 5 hr Online course ‘Sustainable Energy: An Unbiased Review of Options’.
Participants would be provided with a wide range of educational resources for use in the classroom on renewable energy, including PowerPoint slides, videos, reports.  
The course has close links with the Australian Curriculum:
  • Unit 3: “Living on Earth - extracting, using and managing Earth resources” of the Senior Secondary Science/Earth and Environmental Science syllabus
  • Unit 1: “Thermal, nuclear and electrical physics” of the Senior Secondary Science/Physics syllabus
  • Unit 4 “The changing Earth – the cause and impact of Earth hazards” (Earth and Environmental Science)
  • Year 7 Science on renewables (ACSSU116)
  • Year 8 Science on science and technology finding solutions to contemporary issues (ACSHE135)
  • Year 8 Science/Gifted and Talented Students on “Meeting Future Energy Needs”
  • Year 6 Science: Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity (ACSSU219)
  • A number of general Geography units.

This course is 2 PD hours. Accreditation

What's included?

2 Surveys
7 Texts
10 PDFs
Brian Sowerby
Brian Sowerby

About the instructor

Brian Sowerby: Background

Brian Sowerby was, until 2009, a Chief Research Scientist and Program Manager (Instrumentation and Control) in CSIRO Minerals in Sydney. He obtained a BSc (Honours Class 1) in physics from the University of NSW in 1964 and a PhD in physics from the Australian National University in 1967. After two years post-doctoral work in Canada, Brian Sowerby has carried out research and development in Australia on the application of on-line analysis techniques in the mineral, energy and security industries, firstly with the Australian Atomic Energy Commission and secondly with CSIRO. His work has led to the commercialisation of techniques for the bulk analysis of copper and nickel ores, the on-line analysis of coal (two of the Coalscan gauges), the on-belt determination of moisture, the on-line determination of particle size in slurries and the scanning of air cargo containers for contraband and explosives. He has received 13 awards for his work including the inaugural Sir Ian McLennan Achievement for Industry Award and the 1992 Australia Prize for physical sciences relating to mining or processing of mineral resources (together with Cutmore, Howarth and Watt). He has been a consultant to the International Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency. In 1986 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Brian retired from CSIRO in mid-2009.

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