17. July 2019

Preview on the FCHgo Educational Materials

A magic dwells in each beginning. This is especially true for the start of a new school year, which in autumn 2019 will also mark the launch of the first version of the FCHgo toolkit. Curious to get a preview peek on the materials included in the toolkit?

Natural science, education and didactics experts of FCHgo partners UNIMORE and ZHAW have been working on the preparation of the materials that will help pupils of all ages to better understand (hydrogen) energy since spring this year. In this article we present an insight into the first results of their work.

Preview on the materials: Learning about energy with apples, animations, plays and experiments.

The Apple Story
For the youngest students, and for older ones in primary school, FCHgo drafts an illustrated story of the production of food by a tree that uses water, air, and sunlight to let apples grow. A small girl experiences the meaning of food and fuel and, in autumn, she picks apples with her friends in her yard, they eat the apples, gain energy and play all day. The story is told by teachers, discussed and played out; older students read the story themselves.

The Perpetuum Mobile movie
A short, animated movie telling the story of an inventor trying to create a perpetuum mobile consisting of solar cells, pumps, water wheel, and generator. The processes are rendered in imaginative form: spirits represent forces of nature carrying energy from interaction to interaction. The animation shows that the engine only works in an open system where heat can escape to the environment. The movie serves teachers of young children.

Energy plays
Role-plays in which students act as energy carriers (sun, electricity, heat, hydrogen) allow them to experience the natural and technical processes with their own bodies. You will find ideas for such role-plays in the toolkit.

For young students, and without spending lots of money, the experiment of choice is producing hydrogen in a glass of salt water using a battery and two lead pencil electrodes. For more sophistication, pupils need to collect the hydrogen and use it in a fuel cell for powering, among other things, a fan.

Card games
Card games are simple activities for pupils to play and learn. In their rules, they incorporate the main elementary ideas concerning the role of energy. There are cards for every main energy carrier, including hydrogen. Every card displays a specific intensity to indicate the energy content of the carrier.