Relationships with Places - ENS2.6 - Fracking & Energy Resources
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Relationships with Places - ENS2.6 - Fracking & Energy Resources
A look at Fracking as a way of teaching / examining the complex issues surrounding world energy resources.
Curated by Carol Peterson
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Animated correspondent "Little Lee Patrick Sullivan" follows electricity from its source to the light bulb in your home, explaining different fuels, thermal ...
Carol Peterson's insight:

Through the story of “how many people does it take to turn on a light bulb” this video introduces us to key ideas when think about energy 

Source - that all energy comes from the earth be it mined or harnessedThere are different types of energy sources, ones that will run out and those that never will (renewable)People work on finding new ways to make energyIt’s a complex process turning resources into electricityWhat type of energy you use depends on factors like locationThere’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to have the lights on in our homes!

Whilst the video does become more complicated to understand (when it explains power generation) the initial ideas presented around the source and different types of energy are a great introduction into thinking about energy and our environments. 



Understanding Energy Sources


These ideas can be developed further by tabulating and comparing different energy sources, where they come from, consequences to our environment in mining this resource and using this resource, advantages and disadvantages such as finite vs. infinite resources, clean/air pollution etc.

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THIS IS ABOUT THE WHOLE FRACKING PLANET!!! | Relationships with Places - ENS2.6 - Fracking & Energy Resources |
Carol Peterson's insight:

How about a Global Perspective on Fracking.  Protests are happening all around the world about Coal Seam Gas, people from Australia to the States is angry.  But why is it happening everywhere?  And why did the video One Fracking Minute use the phrase “Energy Independence”??


Energy is a global issue.  Some countries have an abundance of energy resources, such as oil in the Middle East, and these countries can become wealthy because of their resources.  If a country decides not to trade us some of their resources, what will happen to our energy supply?  And also, in the case of oil (for example), how does it get from the Middle East to Australia or America?  It can’t be sent by email.  Oil has to travel across land and across water to get to it’s new place, and sometimes there’s an accident along the way resulting in an oil spill that has devastating affects on the environment and the economy. 


The map of fracking sites and potential around the world can be used as a base to start looking at the complex issues - social, economic and ecological – when it comes to energy resources and what impact do they have on each other, and our lives as we know it.



Discussion and research:


- Which countries/regions of the world have access to coal shale needed for fracking?

- How is this different to where other resources like oil are mined.

- What would be the benefits and the consequences for getting a resource from your own country?


In writing this, it becomes obvious that world issues on needs and wants aren’t too dissimilar to disputes held between children.  You have something I want and how am I going to get it?  Will you just give it to me, do I have to bargain with you, do I have to give you something in return or will I go and get one for myself?  I think a role play around the issue of international politics isn’t too hard, even at Stage 2, especially if simplified into a few basic ideas:


- There is a team of people making the decision for the country

- Counties have a list of need and wants, some of these things they have themselves, others they need from other places.

- Now how are you going to go about getting it?  Trade? Fight? Buy?  Who has the most at the end of the day, does everyone have equal amounts of everything they want?  Or do some people have more and others less?


Maybe I’m way off the mark here, but it’s quite novel think about a United Nations of 9 year olds.

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ALTERNATIVE ENERGY DRINKS | Relationships with Places - ENS2.6 - Fracking & Energy Resources |
Carol Peterson's insight:

This cartoon “Alternative Energy Drinks” can be used to challenge students thinking and reasoning around energy resources and their impacts on our environment(s).  If used at the end of a unit of study, with a wealth of information and thinking behind them, this cartoon can serve as a catalyst for a lively and informed discussion/debate! 


And the bonus, it also develops visual literacy.



Unpack the meaning of the cartoon and then discuss / think / show examples of your thinking.


(1) What is happening in this cartoon?

 - How do you know that it is taking place in a shop? 

- What is the man doing?

- What are on the shelves?

- Are these really energy drinks or is the cartoonist being clever?


(2)  Making a decision.

- What do you base your decisions on when you are selecting something to drink?

- What might be base our decision on which energy resource to use?

- How does this cartoon make you feel/think about?


(3) Show your ideas when it comes to making a decision on energy.

- Write speech bubbles for the man in the picture, what is he thinking when selecting his ‘energy drink’?

- Compare these with speech bubbles with other students speech bubbles.  What differences and similarities are there?

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ONE FRACKING MINUTE: AN ANIMATED EXPLAINER ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING | Relationships with Places - ENS2.6 - Fracking & Energy Resources |
There's an oil and gas boom in North America thanks to an innovation known as hydraulic fracturing that extracts natural gas and oil from shale rock deep underground. Here's how it works.
Carol Peterson's insight:

This short (1.29) hand drawn animation explains (in a simplified manner) the process of fracking.  The animation also introduces us to some key issues from both sides of the fracking debate – not an easy position to find! – and ends by leaving the viewer with this question on the debate… What do you think??


Fracking is a hot topic at the moment, NO COAL SEAM GAS protests and signage are appearing all over, locally, nationally and internationally. 


But what is it? 



Understanding Fracking


Using the animation and other sources, such as,%20Where%20and%20How%20of%20Shale%20Gas%20-%20Part%201.pdf (the wording is a bit difficult, but the visuals and some ideas on the graph present key, and balanced, ideas around fracking and natural gas)

- describe the process of fracking

- What are the benefits and the consequences to our environment. 


As mentioned briefly before, finding resources to inform you about the process of fracking without an obvious bias isn’t an easy task, and the argument around such issues is never a case of right and wrong  (not to mention all the resources that cleverly use the work frack in a way not suitable for children!).  These two examples both take a ‘pretty close to’ middle ground approach.


But now that we have the middle ground sorted how about the people who are definitely on a side? 


We can explore these viewpoints through some crafted personas and role play the personas response. 

Examples could be: 

- A mother or father whose farm is next to a proposed fracking site who has heard that other families have had sick children because they live near a fracking site.

- A person who is worried about our environment and air quality and doesn’t like the burning of coal because of smoke and pollution.

- A person or family who live in Sydney and are worried about electricity prices, natural gas would be cheaper….

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MEANING OF LAND TO ABORIGINAL PEOPLE - CREATIVE SPIRITS | Relationships with Places - ENS2.6 - Fracking & Energy Resources |


Land means different things to non-Indigenous and Aboriginal people. The latter have a spiritual, physical, social and cultural connection.

Carol Peterson's insight:

This website provides an overview of Aboriginal people’s connection to land through stories, quotes from Aboriginal people, art and as referenced articles.  Quotes and the story “Money don’t mean nothing to me” can be used to build an understanding of an indigenous connection to land and previous attitudes to resource mining.



This suggested activity takes inspiration from an example on the website. 


Build an understanding and an empathy for people’s different view points by creating quotes from three different people on how they see the same piece of land. 


In the case of fracking, energy resources and Indigenous Australians, this same piece of land and water is in the Arnhem Land Region of the Northern Territory - an area of great importance and empowerment for indigenous Australians and also a place rich in opportunities to mine natural gas. 


Write from the perspective of:

 - An aboriginal elder

- An non-indigenous Australian

- A person who needs to find somewhere to mine Natural Gas.



Creative Spirits - Aboriginal Culture, curates and shares of information and resources related to aboriginal culture and experience across the Arts, Economy, Education, Health, History, Land, Language, Law & Justice, People, Politics & Media, Self-determination, Spirituality, Sport.  The site and content has been endorsed and is periodically archived by the National Library of Australia which recognises the site as an important component of the national documentary heritage.

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