Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Climate of Australia and Renewable Energy

While we were learning All About Seasons, we had been watching the daily weather report on television and checking the Internet for further information on weather around our country. My son noticed that even though we were having cooler temperatures in our location, up the top of Australia was still very hot. My son wanted to know why so this lead us into exploring the climates of Australia.

We started with learning about what is a climate. We viewed this YouTube Clip What is Climate? which gave us information on what the difference is between weather and climate, and what makes a climate. 

We used a book titled All About The Weather by Richard Whitaker, that told us that climate is the average of all the daily weather changes that have occurred over a 30 year period

We then learnt about the five types of climates within Australia. Here is what we learnt:
  • Tropical Climate - It is hot all year around with a wet season from November to April and a dry season for the rest of the year. 
  • Subtropical Climate - This climate still has a wet and a dry season but the temperature vary (cooler to warmer) throughout the year.
  • Desert Climate - Dry and HOT during summer, warm days during winter with freezing cold nights
  • Grassland Climate - Very hot during summer but rather cold during winter with more rainfall then in the desert climate
  • Temperate Climate - Big changes in temperature with consistent rainfall throughout the year.

You can download a copy of The Climate of Australia activity sheet from here.

This lead us into talking about Climate change. We watched this YouTube clip on What is Climate Change? that explains what affects climate change and how we can help reduce the effects of green house gases. The clip also showed ways that we can help reduce green house gases. My son saw the wind turbine on the clip and wanted to know more about wind energy. We were able to go an see a wind turbine and talked about how they work and how it is better for the environment.

We read this book titled Wind Power by Neil Morris, to learn more about turbines and renewable energy. My son wanted to know how the wind turbine worked and what was inside it. 

I made a Wind Turbine activity sheet for my son to label to help us understand the different parts of the turbine. You can download a copy from here.

This got us talking about other ways we can use renewable energy such as solar power. We purchased a Solar Space Robot Science kit last year and have since purchased this Solar-Powered Robot kit from Scholastic. We used these solar kits to learn the basic principles of how solar power works and the benefits of solar energy on the environment.  

If you would like to see more learning ideas on weather, visit my pinterest board on Weather. You also like to have a look at my Australia Unit pin board too.

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