Description: The use and cost of energy affect our daily lives. Many current issues arise from the use of energy, such as greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain and climate change. The most important issue is that global economies use a high percentage of non-renewable energy sources (fossil fuels). However, the depletion of fossil fuel reserves with the simultaneous increase in energy demand raises the urgent need to use other forms of energy. Modern societies demand energy solutions that, on the one hand, could meet the energy needs of the world’s population and, on the other hand, that are sustainable and environmentally safe. So, which is the best solution under these circumstances?There are claims that nuclear energy is a “clean” and efficient solution. On the other hand, however, there are positions that claim that Renewable Energy Sources are a safe and immediate solution to the energy issue. Within this framework, the main purpose is for the students, in groups, to formulate arguments in favor of one or the other point of view, which they will ultimately support within a scientific debate ‘Odyssey’ with their classmates, based upon the information material of the specific educational package.
The educational package “Energy Issue: Nuclear Energy and Renewable Forms of Energy” consists of:
1) an introductory presentation and orientation questions for students.
2) Information material which consists of 18 Information Cards and 11 Story Cards (structured according to the educational approach developed in the framework of the European project “Odyssey”). This material also presents the basic terminology, keywords, and pre-existing knowledge about the scientific concepts and procedures to be used.
3) A guide for teachers that will support the implementation of the project Odyssey in classroom.
4) An educational video that is mainly based on the introductory presentation.
In general, the educational package “Energy Issue: Nuclear Energy and Renewable Forms of Energy” will introduce students to the topic of the energy issue and the need that exists in the modern world to resolve it. More specifically, in this educational package students will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy and renewable energy. More specifically, students are expected to:
• cultivate the role of the responsible citizen, who will be able to take an active role by making decisions on modern issues related to the challenges of the world, such as the growing demand for electricity, the sustainability / sustainability of the planet Earth and environmental hazards, through the construction of the corresponding arguments.• Explore sustainable and innovative solutions to solve the energy issue.• Realize the importance of energy in our daily lives and analyze the ways in which energy production contributes to climate change. The main issue is that its production is based on the use of fossil fuels, where on the one hand they contribute to environmental pollution and on the other hand they are unable to meet the increased demand for electricity as they are non-renewable resources.
The educational package “Energy Issue” includes eighteen (18) Information/Fact Cards and eleven (11) Story Cards.
Indicatively, the Information Cards include data for:
• CO2 emissions from nuclear fission for electricity generation• Nuclear energy from the decay of uranium and plutonium • Nuclear events & accidents from energy production• Environmental impact of the leaching method for uranium mining• Negative environmental impact from hydroelectric power plants • Comparative prices for electricity costs, related to Renewable Energy Sources and nuclear installations.
The Story Cards include information about:
• Innovative ideas and pioneering developments in the use of wind energy• Danger of proliferation from the development of nuclear energy• Radioactive waste management – Sustainable nuclear fuel management solution. Within this framework, the participant students will examine topics such as the variability of RES energy and its dependance on environmental conditions. In more, they will examine comparative scientific data on the production of electricity from different renewable energy sources and fromnuclear power generation worldwide and they will problematize about the cost of energy from RES and nuclear power plants.
After the study of the educational package “Energy Issue: Nuclear Energy and Renewable Forms of Energy”, the involved students will be able to participate to the following scientific Odyssey debate: “Τhe use of nuclear energy is the only solution to address the energy problem”.