8-10 yrs old
11-13 yrs old
Climate & Environment
Compare different energy sources in terms of cost, power output and pollution.
April 7, 2020
LUMEN City Challenge World
Minecraft world file.
Tables 1 & 2
Power source and building type tables.
After completing this lesson, the students will be able to:
1. Enumerate different methods to generate electricity
2. Distinguish renewable energy sources from non-renewable sources
3. Compare different energy sources in terms of cost, power output and pollution
4. Explain why energy storage is needed in a grid which relies on renewable energy sources
To provide context for this lesson, the topic of renewable energy has to be introduced. To do this, use the video(s) in the external references, the vocabulary in Table 1 (Found in Supporting Files) and the following questions that can be asked to the students:
Preparation for the game
Now the students are familiar with the topic, they can start playing the game. Let each student enter the world in Minecraft Education Edition (single player), where they become the mayor of a city. Students can decide for themselves if they want to build a city based on renewables, or stick to fossil and nuclear power stations instead.
In this world, students start at the town centre, where some books explain the challenge. Students need to build a sustainable city by choosing its energy resources wisely. In the town centre, live statistics are shown about the energy level, pollution, population and overall city rating.
To power the city, students can choose from 6 types of power sources to build (Table 2 in supporting files). Their ratings are given in the in-game books. To increase the population, students can build 8 other building types, which consume energy and have an effect on the pollution of the city (Table 3 in supporting files). Taxes are collected automatically and this money can be used for building.
After playing this challenge, students should be able to:
Points 1-2 can be tested by asking the students to fill in an empty version of Table 2 at the blackboard. It’s not important to get the exact ratings, but merely a comparison. Indicating which sources are renewable and looking at their pollution ratings will lead to an answer on point 3. Students might need help to answer point 4, because the benefit of battery storage is not noticeable in this game. The students can be asked why batteries are useful, given their net power output is zero. For point 5, students can be asked how parks and forests can reduce greenhouse gases.
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