Footprint Futures

Footprint Futures
The key stage 2 and 3 eco-footprint teaching resource from the Centre for Alternative Technology

Other Whole class, interactive Activities

  • Big Feet
    This is a fun whole class activity that illustrates how a small percentage of the global population have larger eco footprints than the majority.
    (From module Module 1: The Big Picture)
  • Power Up – Wind Power
    This group activity allows pupils to design and make their own wind turbines that generate electricity.
    (From module Module 3: Energy)
  • Mystery Guest
    A visitor from the energy industry is invited to the class to be interviewed by the pupils.
    (From module Module 3: Energy)
  • The History of Stuff
    This group activity allows pupils to research how local trade and industry has changed over the years.
    (From module Module 6: Stuff)
  • Regional Planning – ‘Stuff’
    This group activity allows the pupils to create their own sustainable transport plans for the region.
    (From module Module 6: Stuff)
  • The Sustainable Regional Plan
    Pupils collate the work on regional planning in previous lessons, to create a comprehensive sustainable plan for the region.
    (From module Module 7: Think Global, Act Local)

Things needed for this Module...

Solar Power Cans:
  • 4 aluminium drink cans of which:
    • 3 are painted with matt black paint (or blackboard paint) of which:
    • 2 have been insulated with pieces of insulation that is safe to handle – sheeps wool for example covering the back half or two thirds of the can of which:
    • 1 is placed in a clear plastic bag or container  such as a clear 2l bottle with the bottom cut off
  • Thermometer
  • Recording sheet
The Green House:
  • Downloadable activity from CAT (coming soon)
Walk the walk:
Regional plan - energy:
  • Hopefully the mystery guest will be able to stay for this session
  • Maps and aerial floor photo mats if you have them
  • Variety of media for recording
Power Up! – Solar Power:
  • Whole class in groups
  • Small photovoltaic cells, motors, crocodile clips and propellers (available from the Centre for Alternative Technology shop and other education suppliers)
  • Clean floatable materials – eg plastic bottles (with lids), cartons and cups and containers, rubber bands
Power Up – Wind Power:
  • EPK20850
    ‘Wind Kit’ from the Centre for Alternative Technology
    (or a wind power kit from another education supplier)
  • Bits of corriflute plastic and/or other suitable scrap materials like thin card and plastic, scissors, tape.
  • Large electric fan with wide blades, the ones which come in cages designed to sit on the floor are best. (tall bathroom fans with thin blades will not work so well.)
Mystery Guest:
  • Mystery guest from the sustainable energy industry. This could be someone who works to install renewable energy systems, or an engineer who designs them. It could be someone from the council with responsibility for energy efficiency, or someone who promotes energy efficiency. Or it could be someone from a local group such as Friends of the Earth.

Useful Websites

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You will need:

  • Downloadable activity from CAT (coming soon)

<< Module Overview

Module 3: Energy

The Green House

The Green House

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This downloadable activity allows pupils to make energy choices for the home to see how they raise or lower emissions.

What to do:

This is a teacher led whole class activity. It consists of a pair of graphs projected onto a screen for the whole class to see, which represent a breakdown of our household greenhouse gas emissions.

You will need to explain that the graphs show the UK greenhouse gas emissions per person (about eleven tonnes) which are split to demonstrate where our emissions come from; heating, food etc. (this is the official government figure, researchers believe that it is actually several tonnes higher than this if the emissions from goods produced for us in other countries are included). The horizontal dotted line near the base of the graphs indicates a global fair share of greenhouse gas emissions, and represents our target for reduction.

The activity comes with a series of images which you use to give the pupils choices about things they want to include in the house. (If you like you can supplement these images with the real thing – pieces of insulation, newspapers, games, etc) Start by looking at the biggest portion of our emissions – heating. Use the images to discuss ways of reducing heating emissions in the home, eg insulation, double glazing etc and input the pupils choices into the activity programme.

Pupils will be able to see their emissions fall or rise depending on their choices. Once heating efficiency measures have been put in place, pupils can then choose how to heat their homes from a range of images that include wood stoves, gas central heating, coal fires, etc. Progress through the activity throughout the sectors until you have finished. By the end of the activity, the pupils will probably have managed to reduce their emissions significantly. It is important to discuss with the class what has changed about their lives.

Depending on their choices, they will probably still be able to go on holiday, eat well, live in warm comfortable homes and travel easily, but they may have sacrificed things like large cars, flights, and wide screen TVs. Ask the class whether their quality of life has improved or deteriorated. Talk about things like family, playing football etc. Most things which people value most, like family, friends, music etc, do not have a big impact on the planet.


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