Lesson – Renewable Energy Stations



Title: Renewable Energy Stations
Grade: 5th Grade
Duration: 45 Minutes


Science: SC.5.P.10.2
Investigate and explain that energy has the ability to cause motion or create change.

Essential Question

  • How can force and motion be used to generate renewable energy?
  • What are some forms of renewable energy?


Renewable Energy Non-renewable Energy Fossil Fuels Biomass Clean Energy Turbine Generator Hydroelectric Energy Geothermal Energy Solar Energy • Wind Energy • Energy Sources • Electromagnetic Waves

Background Information

Renewable energy is made from resources that come from nature and can replenish itself, like wind, water and sunshine. Renewable energy is also referred to as clean energy because it is considered to emit zero emissions and does not pollute our environment. Although these are wonderful alternative forms of energy, we cannot rely on them solely because they would not provide enough constant power for everyone.

How do they work?

  • Wind Energy – Wind turbine blades use the moving air to power an electric generator that supplies an electric current.
  • Biomass Energy – Produces energy and heat by burning crops like corn.
  • Solar Energy – Works by using photo voltaic cells to absorb sunlight that can then be converted.
  • Hydroelectric Energy – Leverages water to generate electricity using a turbine.
  • Geothermal Energy – Energy produced by underground steam and hot water reservoirs.

Guiding Questions

  • Is there more than one source of energy?
  • What are some sources of energy?
  • What is meant by a renewable energy source?
  • What are some examples of renewable energy?
  • What is meant by a non-renewable energy source?
  • What are some examples of non-renewable energy?
  • Discuss major differences between non-renewable and renewable/alternative energy sources.
  • Do you know of any places where renewable/alternative energy sources are regularly being used?
  • What are the benefits of using renewable energy?
  • Why don’t we use renewable energy all of the time?



Teacher Resources

Inquiry Type

energy image

Activity: Renewable Energy Stations

Our Renewable Energy Station will help students navigate the different forms of renewable energy using a hands-on approach. Each station will have its own set of materials and procedures.

For this activity you will need to break up into groups. Depending on the number of students in your class, you may decide to just break up into 3 groups or 6 groups (If you have 3 groups, you would have one group assigned to each activity. If you have 6 groups, you will have two groups working on each activity.)

Lesson – Solar Energy: Making a Solar Oven

Lesson – Wind Energy: Making and Testing Pinwheels to Lift a Load

Lesson – Hydroelectric Energy: Making a Water Wheel

Students will only be doing one activity. At the end of the session, the teams will share their activity with the class.