Page 1

Techno Fix or Frankenstein Future? Student Activity Sheets 1. Techno Future What technology will the future bring? Read through the quotes from young people below. Do you agree or disagree with them? What do your fellow students think? Working in groups, develop a survey to find out the opinions of your classmates on the actions they would be prepared to take to reduce climate change. Learning Support 1 (LS1) below gives you some help getting started. When you have written your questions and surveyed a sample of your classmates you will need to present the results. There are two ways you can do this: 1. You could use your survey results to produce a poster on ‘your ideal future’ or a class manifesto for change. 2. Use LS2 to make a verbal presentation. Carbon Down, Profits Up “Waste isn’t just stupid…it costs money. I want to buy from companies that use innovation and technology reduce problems not increase them! If businesses offer me better choices I’ll take them.” Better by Design “More is not better. Better is better! I love the latest music but don’t want to carry all those CD’s in my bag. Give me solutions that mean I can have the latest gadgets and functions without making my bag weigh a ton! I love my iPod because it means that I can carry all my music without all the CD’s too!” Eco Chic Travel “My car tells people who I am. I want my car to look and feel sexy, but it should also say that ‘I care’ so it should be designed to produce no emissions.” At Home “My home will be the coolest in the street. It will look like any other house but is low energy and low impact…it will be saving me money but not compromising my lifestyle.” Food “I want to feel good as well as look great. I chose food that is local, fresh and free of chemicals.” Well Fashioned “Looking great is normal, but I want to feel that my clothes make a difference. I want to chose from companies that create fab fashion with impact on my friends not the environment. Why can’t we have materials that don’t pollute?” Waste-less Society “Creating waste is just wasting money. People should design products so that they can be easily taken apart after use and made into new products. I want to buy a new car every 3 years, but I also want to know that my old car is recycled into a new one. ” Government “I feel overwhelmed. All this environment stuff would be a lot easier if we just changed the system…why can’t governments understand this? Why can’t they give me more choices and involve me in the big decisions, not just at election time?”

LS 1 - Survey Questions Here are some sample questions to get you started. Would you buy products because they are made to be recycled? Yes No Don’t know Would you decide to buy clothes because they pollute less? Yes No Don’t know Would you choose to buy foods because they are local, fresh and free from chemicals? Yes No Don’t know Would you be prepared to pay more for your house to make it less damaging to the environment? Yes No Don’t know Is the environment a factor for you when buying a car? Yes No Don’t know Would you be prepared to pay more for products which reduce waste/materials in their production process? Yes No Don’t know


Presenting Survey Results

Make general statements of fact about your results Structures: … out of … think that/don’t think that … … said / replied / answered that they would / wouldn’t be prepared to … Very few students in our class … Roughly … More than … Less than … In addition, there is/are …

Try to make some comparison of the data Structures: While… , … are not … There are more students who believe … than … The number of students who … and those who … is roughly the same.

Point out large and small numbers (Superlatives) Structures: The majority of students in our class are not … In our class most students think … Almost none of the students … The largest group is …

What conclusions are you able to draw? Structures: Students in our class seem to be … Generally speaking, the students in our class are … On the whole then, our students think that …

2. Zero Carbon Housing How can you reduce carbon emissions from your home? List your ideas and keep them for later. Below are some ways that we can make our homes more environmentally friendly using technology and make them nicer places to live. Read the text in each of the boxes and match them to the missing titles. After matching the boxes to titles, compare the list you wrote with the ideas below…are there any new ones? These panels on the roof provide about a quarter of the houses’ yearly need for hot water.

Photovoltaic panels provide about 30% of the annual electricity use by the house. Surplus energy can be sold for a profit.

A south facing conservatory heats air using the suns heat which can then be circulated around the house

Gutters on the side of the roof collect water and channel it into a collecting tank. The water can then be used for flushing the toilet, washing and watering the garden.

You can save a lot of energy and carbon by changing your lights. Although energy saving lights cost more they save money because they last longer and use less energy.

Almost a fifth of energy is lost from single glazed windows. Fitting more efficient windows means that you will retain the heat inside rather that heating the street outside.

Water heating is a major source of energy usage. Older systems are only 4060% efficient. New condensing boilers are about 90% efficient and will save you money too.

Most heat is lost through the roof. By preventing heat loss you can save on energy bills. Using natural materials like sheep’s wool is even better.

Traditional building materials are local, easy to produce and low impact. They are usually well suited to the local climate so reduce energy costs in heating and cooling the home.

Missing titles: Installation Rainwater Harvesting Passive Solar Mud Bricks Energy Efficient Boiler Solar Water Heating Low Energy Lightbulbs Solar Electric Double and Triple Glazed Windows Extension Activity Read through the article below. What are the major environmental impacts our homes make? Use LS3 to guide your reading and fill out the table. Think about the ideas, could any of the ideas above be used in your house?

Discuss in small groups the ideas you like best and why. How would you convince other people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles? ONE PLANET LIVING BedZED aims to be a model and demonstration centre for 'one planet living'. This refers to the finding emerging that if all people on the planet were to live at the current level of consumption of the average Westerner, we would need multiple planet Earths: around five and a half to sustain North American lifestyles globally, three for European lifestyles. BedZED was created to demonstrate that it is possible to design our communities in such a way that people, irrespective of their personal beliefs and values, may live sustainably within their 'fair share' ecological footprint*, even in the heart of the industrialised world. The development comprises eight blocks, oriented towards the south for maximum solar gain, that contain eighty-two homes and 2,500 square metres of work-space together with private gardens, community play-space and allotments. A large part of the European footprint relates to personal travel and this was a key area for consideration in the design of BedZED. Through a variety of measures – providing workspace on site to reduce commuting, a car club of which forty residents are members and the negotiation of discounts for residents with a local cycle shop - it is claimed that car use for BedZED residents is 65% below the local average. One car space is provided for every 0.8 households - around half the local average. Another major chunk of the European footprint is associated with food, an increasing proportion of which is transported thousands of miles by air to land on our plates. The BedZED approach here has been to seek to link up residents to local community-supported agriculture box schemes. Some 25% of BedZED's residents subscribe to such a scheme. Solar gain, super-insulation and the inclusion in the design of materials that retain warmth combine to create the potential to reduce the heating requirements of BedZED homes to around 10% of that of a typical home (though residents are free to install and use their own heating appliances as they see fit). There is also a combined heat and power (CHP) plant for the entire eco-neighbourhood. At present, electricity use is around 25% lower than the local average. Water use at BedZED currently stands at about 100 litres of water per resident per day compared to the UK average of 150 litres. When the 'Living Machine' waste-water treatment system is up and running this can be reduced to around 70 litres. Recycling is the area in which the eco-neighbourhood has had the least impact: levels are only marginally lower than in comparable surrounding communities. * an ecological footprint measures the amount of natural resources we consume and waste we produce and converts the data into the equivalent area of space required to produce the natural resources we consume and absorb all our waste. Source: Resurgence (month) 2006. Permission required.

LS 3


Read the article and place the key words in the correct order in the table below. Write notes on the key words especially any innovative solutions suggested in the text. Building Development Food Heating and Electricity Personal Travel Problem – Unsustainable Lifestyle Solution – Community Design Water use and Recycling ONE PLANET LIVING Key Words 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Notes (solutions)

3. Mobile Addicts? Task 1 Mobile phones have become an essential tool of the modern teenager. Working in pairs and create a list of the advantages and disadvantages of mobile phones. Prepare a short 2-3 minute presentation about your findings. Report back using compare and contrast sentences (see LSS4 for help). Advantages e.g. easy to call your friends

Disadvantages e.g. easy for thieves to steal.

LS4 - Comparing and contrasting mobile phones One the one hand, while, whereas, whilst … Although there are … and …, there aren’t any … Though it has …, it doesn’t /can’t … The … model has …, …, and …, but it doesn’t have … This model has a number of good points Firstly, secondly, thirdly, last but not least The drawbacks are… , …, and that it doesn’t/won’t … Having said that, it does/can …

Task 2 Still in pairs, read the article below. Here are some questions to discuss: • What is the authors’ opinion of mobile phones – positive or negative? • How can we deal with all the old mobile phones? • Can technology offer us better solutions? • How could the government provide incentives to persuade producers and consumers to use more environmentally friendly mobile phones? Devise a short 15-20 word message promoting solutions to mobile phone waste in the form of an SMS text message.

We're a bunch of upgrade addicts - so what? Every hour 1712 mobile phones are upgraded in the UK alone. If all the mobile-users in the UK threw their old phones in the bin when they upgraded, we'd be land filling ÂŁ650,000 worth of silver a year, as well as toxic chemicals that could leak out into the environment. And then there is the plastic cover! Smooth, shiny plastic covers may make our mobiles look good - but they last for hundreds of years in landfill sites. But Kerry Kirwan, an engineer at Warwick University, may have come up with an answer to our plastic problems. Biodegradable plastic breaks down into natural minerals when planted in the soil. A sunflower seed is incorporated into the design of the phone to encourage users to plant their phone after use. So rather than an old phone you get a beautiful flower and no waste. Recycling is all very well, but many people think it makes more sense to design phones that are less harmful in the first place. In other words, problem reduced by design. Yet this still leaves a burning question: why do we have such a desire to keep up with the trends? If we didn't, we'd only be replacing our mobiles when necessary instead of every 12 to 18 months and there would be less of a need to make circuit boards out of chicken feathers. Perhaps producing timeless designs and methods of upgrading a phone's functions without replacing a whole handset may be more effective. Although I would quite like a sunflower in my garden. Picture: University of Warwick. From (copyright permission required) Text Language Try to work out these examples to practice your text skills before composing your message. There is a mini-dictionary if you get stuck. Example 1 Marek - RUOK? Marek, are you OK?

THNQ, I FEEL GR8. Thank you, I feel great.

Example 2 SEND ME A MSG B4 U LEAVE 2MORO. Send me a message before you leave tomorrow Example 3 PCM 2MORO AT 4. Please call me tomorrow at 4 For more text language visit

4. Cool New Ideas! Below are some cool new ideas for becoming more eco-friendly and more energy efficient. Read through the ideas in groups and discuss the questions below in small groups. • Which do you prefer? • Which would be best for your lifestyle? • Which is the most realistic? Once you have discussed the questions above and thought which the best ideas are, prepare a letter to the Ministry of Energy proposing your idea. The letter should be 120-150 words in length and contain 4-5 main ideas/reasons. LS5 gives you a framework for a letter. Cool New Ideas! Wi-Fi in the Sky Solar panels are being used in Boulder Colorado to power wi-fi internet transmitters providing access wherever you are. The panels collect the suns rays even on cloudy days and store it in batteries that can hold 72 hours worth of power. Solar wi-fi is great for regions where electricity is scarce and can cost 50% less to install than conventional wi-fi. A Sweet Ride in Brazil Alcohol consumption is on the rise in Brazil but not because people are drinking more. Instead, drivers are filling their cars with ethanol, which is one of two options for a new generation of cars called Flex. The cars work like traditional cars but can run on either petrol or ethanol derived from sugar cane. Volkswagen, Fiat, Ford and GM all produce Flex cars and in May last year their sales overtook petrol models for the first time. March of the Solar Soldier Soldiers often carry much more than 25 kg of equipment with them, including much that runs on batteries. The batteries can weigh as much as 2 kg! Iowa Thin Technologies started supplying the US army with pocket-sized solar rechargers (170 grams) and tents implanted with flexible solar panels last year. Civilians can benefit too – firms are starting to design clothes with integrated solar panels so we can make our own electricity on the go! Putting Bugs in the Paint Your average house paint could help solve climate change. Scientists at the University of Minnesota have found a way to generate hydrogen (and then electricity) from genetically engineered bacteria mixed into paint. When exposed to light the bacteria jump to life and begin making hydrogen gas which can be captured in fuel cells and converted into electricity. This idea is still some way from being available in your local hardware store but in the near future painting your house could mean so much more. Flower Petal to the Metal The University of Leeds are developing hydrogen from sunflowers. This development may solve one of the main problems slowing the advance of automobile fuel cells: how to provide a clean, renewable source of hydrogen. The technology could also help solve the problem of capturing all carbon emissions from the process at a single point. Surf’s Up, Lights On Ocean Power Delivery Ltd in Scotland has developed a new offshore wave energy machine called Pelamis. Building on technology developed for the offshore industry, the Pelamis has a similar output to a modern wind turbine. The Pelamis is a semi-submerged structure composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged joints. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted by hydraulic rams, which drive electrical generators to produce electricity. It is anticipated that future `wave farm' projects would produce 30MW of electricity and provide sufficient electricity for 20,000 homes.

LS5 – Framework for writing a letter.

Address of the person you’re writing to

Your address

Date Dear Mr/Mrs


I would like to suggest that/make a suggestion for … There are a number of reasons why initiatives like these are necessary. Firstly, and most importantly, it is essential that we … Additionally, moves like this one would go some way to … and …. It also helps in …, for … and …. Furthermore, … / and what is more … It is also possible that in doing this we would be … … and let us not forget that … It goes without saying that this kind of action is … I would be very grateful for your comments and responses to the above suggestions and arguments at your earliest convenience. Yours sincerely, Your signature

and printed name

5. Purchasing Power Look at the resource sheet below. What is the message it is trying to convey? “More is not better. Better is better! I love the latest music but don’t want to carry all those CD’s in my bag. Give me solutions that mean I can have the latest gadgets and functions without making my bag weigh a ton!”

Eco Gadgets

One of the easiest ways to save money on your electricity bills whilst being environmentally friendly is to ensure that your household appliances carry the "Energy Efficiency Recommended" logo. This is a standard that has been developed by the Energy Saving Trust in conjunction with industry and the UK government that appears on all new "white goods". Source: Energy Savings Trust %

Biggest Price rises


Source: Egg

Price falls items

12 months

12 months

Entertainment & recreation

5.7% Audio-visual equipment -14.1%

Books & Newspapers


10 Years

Electrical appliances


10 Years

Entertainment & recreation

65% Audio-visual equipment -74%

Books & Newspapers

41% Electrical appliances


Not everyone realises the burning of fossil fuels to make electricity is damaging our environment. In fact, it is the single biggest cause of climate change in our country today, responsible for 30% of our CO2 emissions.

Country Belgium Czech Rep France Germany Hungary Poland United Kingdom









12.13 12.08 6.16 10.42 5.57 7.82 9.40

11.04 14.91 6.65 12.23 6.71 9.40 10.16

13.13 16.39 9.03 14.05 7.75 12.59 10.66

13.12 15.76 8.63 13.00 5.53 9.41 11.88

9.21 10.57 5.90 11.39 4.62 6.94 11.12

9.03 6.57 4.92 7.56 2.01 4.57 10.15

Carbon Emissions per Capita in Tonnes (Source: World Resources Institute)

Prepare a 2-3 minute presentation using the resource sheet. Make sure your presentation has an introduction, body and conclusion. Also state whether you agree with the main theme on the resource sheet. LS6 gives you a framework for the presentation.


Purchasing Power Presentation

Introduction (Give a brief outline of the theme of the presentation and the structure of what you will be talking about. Tell the audience your ‘angle’ on the issues.) Main body Technology and waste

Price changes

Structures There is a suggestion that … should be improved with … I also agree/disagree with … It’s important that we … There should be a balance between … and … Structures: The data on price changes shows … … is very interesting and shows that … We are spending more/less now on … than … Prices of … have risen/fallen (sharply/slightly).

Oil consumption

EU Carbon Emissions

Structures: There has been a rise/fall in oil consumption for …, … whereas for …, … there has been a fall/rise. Oil consumption in … has remained stable/the same/hasn’t changed. What is striking is that in the future it is projected that …

Structures: The UK has seen a rise/fall in …. Poland …. Hungary…. France …. While in … there has been a … in (other countries) there has been a …

Conclusions (Summarise your main points and make suggestions about the future leaving your audience with some ideas/thoughts to take away with them.)

6. Reflecting on Climate Change This final activity is to enable you to reflect on what you have learnt. Task 1 Working in pairs, fill out the table below. When you have completed the table share your results in groups of 6. If you have any unanswered questions, how would you go about finding the answers? Connections



What connections can you make among what you’ve learned, your lifestyle, your family, school, community, or other regions?

Reflect on your learning, understandings, and discoveries. "Write about one thing you did not know before starting this module."

What questions do you still have, or what new questions have been raised?

Task 2 Working in pairs, fill out the table below. When you have completed the table share your results in groups. If you have any unanswered questions, how would you go about finding the answers?

Issue – brainstorm climate change issues here

What can I do?

What can the school do?

What can the government do?

What are the success factors?

Techno fix or frankenstein future clil  
Techno fix or frankenstein future clil