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Exciting Electrics

Extending Talented Students in the Regular Classroom

Exciting Electrics by Sandy Tasker
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This fully revised blackline master series (Pacemaker Pack) was initially devised as a means of providing extension for students within the regular classroom, whilst catering for the needs of the teacher and providing materials that were designed along educationally sound lines. Exciting Electrics provides a sound information base on static electricity, non-renewable and renewable power sources, electrical safety and the history of electricity. The second half of the book provides a structured series of experiments involving simple circuits with clear instructions for the independent worker. Although the content and layout for the Pacemaker Pack series has been completely updated, the principles behind the series remain the same, using CONTENT LEVELS as a basis for categorizing activities. The key to this approach, which we term the appropriate curriculum model, is that students are presented with activities appropriate to their levels of understanding of the content together with their mastery of the requisite higher-order thinking processes. The levels are an adaptation of Bloom?s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, still a widely accepted and valued model of education. Below are the Content Levels and Indicators used in this book:

Content Level 1 FINDING OUT: Recalling data, showing understanding through restating or extending ideas. Answers factual questions, interprets information, describes or illustrates events.

Content Level 2 USING INFORMATION: Using information in a new situation through extending or breaking down concepts being studied. Problem solving based on knowledge gained. Making assumptions.

Content Level 3 CREATING / EVALUATING: Putting together ideas to develop new products, making judgements based on new information. Puts forward theories or original ideas and designs, forms and states opinions on theories.

Moving Through the Content Levels It is important that higher-order activities such as those at Content Level 3 are underpinned with a solid base of knowledge ? the tasks and activities aligned with Levels 1 and 2 are designed to establish and expand this. It should never be assumed that students have the requisite content knowledge, but be prepared to advance students quickly to higher-level activities if they demonstrate a sound understanding of the facts and concepts presented in Levels 1 and 2.

Ready-Ed Publications; June 2001
43 pages; ISBN 9781863975780
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Exciting Electrics
Author: Sandy Tasker

Power Points: Information Page

Biomass is the organic matter of plants and animals, such as off-cuts and sawdust of wood, and manure of animals. The burning of the biomass releases carbon dioxide and energy. The theory behind the use of biomass is that unused plant and animal matter would decay naturally, so as long as the source is sustainable (it will not run out), then it is appropriate to use. A disadvantage is that it takes a lot of matter to produce the level of energy required. One example of biomass is the burning of sugar cane waste to produce electricity. Although biomass electricity is a good way of getting rid of wastes in a useful way, the burning process can still release some greenhouse gases.

Solar Energy uses the sun as its source. Solar cells collect the sunlight and convert it into electricity. With the sun being ever-present in our lives, it is a good way to produce power without producing any pollutant gases. Although expensive to make, solar panels usually require little upkeep. They are quiet and can be used at the site where the electricity is required, reducing the costs for cabling long distances in remote areas. Unfortunately a storage system is required for when sunlight is not available.

Wind Energy harnesses its power by using huge windmills in areas of high wind to power turbines that produce electricity. The use of wind as a power source does not produce any pollution, but the large windmills can produce vibrations. Also the windmills can be very expensive to make and run. It can be unreliable as not many places have wind blowing all the time. Some people are worried about the ugly appearance of the windmills whilst others are concerned about birds flying into their path.

Hydroelectricity uses movement of water in dams to spin turbines that produce electricity. This needs to be done in mountainous areas of high rainfall to make sure that the dams can be kept full. The building of dams can be very expensive and can cause flooding as the natural flow of rivers is stemmed. This can damage the wildlife living in or near the rivers. The advantage is that no harmful gases are produced.

Tidal/Wave Energy uses the movement of water to generate power. It uses similar principles to hydroelectricity and may require the building of dams to "capture" the tidal flow. This system is pollution-free but many of the same problems to Hydroelectricity occur, such as damage to the wildlife and shorelines. These systems would also be expensive to build.

Coal, Gas and Nuclear Energy use fossil fuels and other sources that are non-renewable. Because they have formed in the earth over millions of years, it would be very difficult to replace these sources once they have run out.

Coal has been produced by decomposing plants over millions of years. Although a cheaper way of producing electricity, the large production of carbon dioxide can contribute to the greenhouse effect. Gas that is trapped between rock in our earth can be used in stoves, home heating and hot water systems.

Nuclear energy uses a mineral called uranium to change atoms and produce energy. This method of power production is considered very dangerous by many people as the process causes radiation that is harmful to people and the environment.