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Grade 5


Module 23

Sun, moon, wind and recycling

The sun as a resource

The energy that can be obtained from the sun (solar energy) is very difficult to understand. It is 9 000 times more than all the energy that is currently generated all over the world! And it cannot be used up!

Unfortunately, we do not yet know how to use solar energy on a large scale. The climate and the weather, and the fact that there is something like night and day, also have a great effect on the use of solar energy. Where solar energy can be used on a small scale, the technology is still also very expensive.

But there are ways of using solar energy. Solar panels can be used to heat water for houses, and solar cells can be used to generate electricity .

By the time you are grown up, someone might have discovered how to utilise the energy from the sun better. Perhaps one of you might have a share in such a wonderful discovery!


The moon as a resource

Perhaps it is a surprise to you to read that the moon is a resource for people! Just like the sun has 9 000 times more energy than we can generate, the moon has 100 times more energy to use.

You know that the moon causes tides in the sea, and by using the tides we can generate electricity. By building a closed bay with a sea wall with gates, the flow of the water can be used to generate electricity.

This method is used in very few places in the world, because there are still too many problems to be overcome.

The wind as a resource

The wind has been used as a resource for many centuries. Think of the sailing ships, the Dutch who pump water back to the sea with their well-known windmills, the windmills on many farms in our country, and so on.

However, at the moment scientists are investigating the use of wind on a much larger scale. The ideal is that the wind should be used on a large scale to generate electricity. In the USA and Europe this type of project has been going on for a long time. In 2002 the first wind power station was constructed in South Africa. This was on the farm Windhoek between Darling and Yzerfontein on the West Coast. (Does the name of the farm say anything?)

Activity 1:

To identify and investigate possible solutions to an energy problem

[lo 1.6]

It is the year 2010. A thorough investigation has been done and it was discovered that there would be just enough supplies of coal and crude oil left in the world for seven to ten years! What happens now? (Group work).

  • Newspapers
  • Tins
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Cardboard
  • Magazines

We can just guess at how many tons of these materials land on refuse dumps in towns and cities every day!

Sometimes non-renewable resources are used to make these materials. But who cares?

Wood, a renewable resource , is used to make cardboard and paper for newspapers and magazines. It seems as if there is no problem with wood, but the plantations where enough trees are planted to provide enough wood every year use so much water from the soil that it causes problems in some places. Rivers and fountains are no longer being fed and nature and man are suffering. Wood must be saved!


Successful recycling also means smaller refuse dumps.

In some countries (e.g. Switzerland) residents are forced to sort their household refuse and place it in different coloured bags.

In the city of Curitiba in Brazil people can exchange their sorted household refuse for free bus tickets and vegetables.

Poor people in Africa produce only a fraction of the household refuse that rich Americans throw away.

Even if a poor family wants to recycle, their house is often so small that there is no room to keep the sorted household refuse.

Activity 2:

To launch / manage a recycling project

[lo 1.6; 2.3]

For the learners at a school where a recycling project has already been started:

Find out what the school's average earnings per month are from the recycling project. Design an incentive system to increase these earnings.

For the learners at a school with no recycling project:

Phone a place close to you that recycles newspaper and find out what they pay per kilogram.

Measure the mass of a week’s newspapers that a family receives and calculate what it would be worth.

Calculate how much money your school can make per year if only half the

families in the school bring their newspapers to school.

Write a letter to the principal and ask whether you can start a recycling project.

Explain the benefits to your school, but also to the country.


LO 1


The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate geographical and environmental concepts and processes.

We know this when the learner:

1.1 with guidance, selects and uses sources of useful geographical information [finds sources];

1.2 distinguishes between facts and opinions [works with sources];

1.3 categorises information [works with sources];

1.4 uses an index to find places on global atlas maps [works with sources];

1.6 identifies and explores possible solutions to problems [answers the question];

1.7 demonstrates knowledge and under-standing of the issue through projects, discussion, debate and charts [communicates the answer].

LO 2


The learner will be able to demonstrate geographical and environmental knowledge and understanding.

We know this when the learner:

2.2 identifies links between natural resources and economic activities in South Africa [people and resources];

2.3 describes ways in which the physical environment influences human activity and how human activity is influenced by the physical environment [people and the environment].

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Source:  OpenStax, Social sciences: geography grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10986/1.2
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