Renewable energy for children is the same as for adults, however we wanted to do this article to lower the technical terms a bit so that the little ones have a clear and precise definition of what is renewable and non-renewable energy for children, in addition to promote some activities that parents can do with their children to ground the concepts.
We hope you enjoy it a lot!!
Índice de contenido
- 1 What is renewable energy for children?
- 2 Why don’t we use renewable energy all the time?
- 3 Is it possible to make renewable energy with magnets?
- 4 What is solar energy for children?
- 5 What is wind energy for children?
What is renewable energy for children?
In very simple terms, renewable energy comes from resources that nature will easily replace or replenish, such as wind, sun, moving water, and heat from the earth.
Renewable energy is also called “clean energy” or “green energy” because it does not pollute the environment.
Non-renewable energy is made from sources that will be depleted or not replenished in our lifetimes, or even many, many lifetimes, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
Why don’t we use renewable energy all the time?
It would be ideal to be able to use clean energy all the time, but it is not that simple, for two main reasons:
- It is not as easy to store wind and sunlight to use when we need to produce more electricity, as it is possible to do with natural gas and coal.
- it costs more money to produce electricity from the wind or the sun
Is it possible to make renewable energy with magnets?
Harnessing magnetism to produce green energy is an idea that has been around for years. You can verify that when trying to join or separate two magnets, you will feel the power of magnetism and at the same time, they produce invisible energy that could be a renewable energy source with magnets.
However, after several investigations, it has been concluded that magnetism alone cannot be a new source of clean energy, but it could play an important role in reducing costs and improving the efficiency of various renewable energy sources. As it can:
- replace some expensive components like semiconductors to harvest solar energy
- avoid the use of lead solder in electrical appliances, and instead, through a magnetic field, melt tin and silver, which would be lead-free solder, making electrical appliances cleaner, more ecological and recyclable.
- use nanomagnetic materials to make computer chips more energy efficient.
Below we will emphasize two of the types of renewable energy, solar energy and wind energy, but this does not mean that these are the only ones, but rather that they are the most common.
What is solar energy for children?
Renewable energy for children, and in this case solar energy for children, is green and clean electricity that comes from the light or heat of the sun.
Solar energy is a source of energy:
- renewable, free, sustainable and totally inexhaustible
- non-polluting and does not emit greenhouse gases when producing electricity
experiments with solar energy
Renewable energy experiments for children are a fun way to teach little ones concepts that may be abstract, but when put into practice they are easier to understand. In this case we will mention some experiments about solar energy as a source of renewable energy.
1. Convert sunlight into heat
- 3 identical glasses
- 2 sheets of white paper
- 1 sheet of black paper.
- 1 plastic bag to cover a glass
- Step 1.
Fill each glass with the same amount of cold water.
- Step 2.
Measure the temperature of the water with the thermometer.
- Step 3.
Place a glass on each sheet of paper.
- Step 4.
Cover with the plastic bag one of the cups that is placed on white paper.
- Step 5.
Let the water stand in a sunny spot for an hour.
- Step 6.
Take the temperature of the water again and discuss the results.
As you do the experiment with your children, discuss and make predictions about what you think will happen to the water in each glass.
After the experiment is over, discuss the results obtained and ask questions such as:
- What background color absorbs more heat?
- What about the covered glass? What effect does the plastic bag have?
2. Absorbing and reflecting heat: solar oven
- carton box
- black paper
- gum paper
- tortilla chips or crackers
- Grated cheese
- Line the cardboard box with black paper, both inside and out.
- Put the tortilla chips with the grated cheese on top inside the box
- Cover the box with gum paper
- Place the solar oven with the lid open, in a sunny place
- Bake for a few minutes until the cheese is melted. The time will depend on the amount of sun
- Record the results.
- Once the cheese has melted, eat it!
- Then if you want, try to build another solar oven model
Make a few changes and compare your results. Get your child to think like a scientist who will perform experiments over and over again to collect data and discover better and more efficient ways of doing things.
What is wind energy for children?
Renewable energy for children and in this specific case wind energy for children is an alternative energy source different from coal, oil and others. Wind can be used to generate electricity that heats homes and lights streets and buildings.
It is considered a renewable energy source because there is always wind on Earth and we are not “wasting” the wind when we generate power from it. Wind energy also does not cause pollution.
Wind energy is used by a machine called a wind turbine. Wind turbines are tall towers (like windmills) that have blades, or “arms,” connected to a central rod or shaft. When the wind makes the blades turn, they turn the shaft. The rotating shaft provides power to a machine called a generator, which produces electricity. This is the simplest explanation and definition of wind energy summary for children.
Wind energy experiments
1. Convert wind into energy
In this activity, children will build a simple windmill and use it to power a pulley system to lift a glass.
- Straw cardboard or cardboard (the thicker the better)
- String (cotton or polyester is best)
- paper clips
- Rubber bands
- pair of scissors
- Large disposable cups (Rec 16 oz)
- Small disposable cups (Rec 6oz)
- large straws (known as straws)
- small straws (known as straws. A wooden skewer or pencil can also be used)
- Box fan or hair dryer
- Crayons, markers, paints, or colors to decorate your windmill
- Stopwatch or timing device
- small coins
2. Build a car with a wind engine
- Corrugated cardboard
- Construction paper or cardstock
- Three wooden sticks (pincho or chuzo sticks)
- Two plastic straws
- Four plastic bottle caps
- pair of scissors
- Knife (must be used by an adult)
- Long hallway or large room (smooth floors work best)
and now to test your wind car:
- Thread the vertical spike through both ends of your smaller candle to hold it in place.
- Place your fan on the floor at one end of a long hallway or large room.
- Put your car in front of the fan and turn it on. How far does your car travel before stopping?
- Replace the smallest candle with the next largest candle and try again. How far does your car go this time?
- Try your largest candle. Does the car go as far as you hoped?
- Extra: try candles in different shapes. Which way works best?
- Extra: If you have a variable speed fan, try the activity on different fan settings. How does fan speed affect how far or how fast your car goes?
In the market you can find some renewable energy items for kids or wind powered toys, such as wind turbine science kits to assemble and transform wind energy into electricity so that children can understand how a real wind turbine works.
These kits usually include a lot of science experiments that you or your child can do to learn how wind power is used.
We hope this article has been very useful to clarify concepts and work on some activities with your children. You may also be interested in knowing the list of countries with the most renewable energy.