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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

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
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
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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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