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Lesson 8:  Alternative sources of energy
Lesson plan
A practical investigation into what fuel could be used instead of our depleting fossil fuels. Pupils’ carryout real research and compare ethanol against others. A concise report with all the data must be written by the end.
Please read the lesson plan below, then read the teachers’ notes, followed by the resources page. You can navigate between the 3 pages for each lesson using the links at the top right of this page
Chemistry Lesson 8: Alternative sources of energy
Curriculum Key: AQA 12.2   OCRB C2 Edexcel Topic 7
1. Learn about ethanol and its use as a fuel.
2. Appreciate that ethanol is already used as a fuel in some countries.
Resources needed
PowerPoint (if desired).
Pupil worksheets.
Experiment apparatus and fuels.
Starter: 5-10 minutes
What is a fuel/what makes a good fuel?/what fuels do we use?
What's the problem, why do we need an alternative? Give facts on ethanol. A PowerPoint is provided showing some uses of alternative energies.
Teacher input/assessment
Introduce the topic (if desired use the PowerPoint).
Main Activity 1: 20-25 minutes
Can we test ethanol as fuel? What criteria would they need to apply to test it/ What would they compare it with? (e.g. HOW LONG IT BURNS FOR/energy produced (e.g. like the crisps as a fuel experiment, raising the temperature of a boiling tube of water)
Carry out a practical as on the resource sheet (note safety advice in teacher notes).
Teacher input / assessment
Allow the students to work safely in small groups.
Circulate around the lab.

Plenary: 15 minutes
Evaluation skills - what was bad/good/is it a good alternative fuel. Class discussion of the good and bad points of the practical. Introduce the report. Consider making the report only 2 pages of A4 long. Complete next lesson. Complete reports and peer assess the report based on the marking criteria: see the worksheet for this task
Teacher input / assessment
Set the scene for writing up the investigation report. Talk through the peer assessed marking criteria (this would be a good activity to pre-empt an Sc1 activity).
Learning Outcomes:
All students must: be able to recall some facts about ethanol.
Most students should: be able to carry out a safe experiment to investigate ethanol as a fuel and produce a report.
Some students could: a detailed report to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of ethanol as a fuel
Key Skills: Use of appropriate scientific language, safety, peer assessment
Key words: ethanol, fuel, efficiency
Homework: Start write up of experimental report ready for peer assessment
More able: will fully appreciate the need for alternative fuels and write up an accurate, concise report.
Less able: will perform a safe experiment and write it up – appreciate some facts about ethanol.
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