Contains the full lesson along with a supporting
toolkit, including teachers’ notes.
The rising cost of fuel is driving public awareness of the need to use fuel in a more efficient and environmentally sensitive way. The proliferation of motor cars causes traffic congestion and greatly reduced fuel efficiency. The only viable solution is to reduce dependence on private cars by increasing the availability and frequency of public transport – in practice, bus, tram and train. The cost per person-kilometre is lower for trains than for any other form of powered transport.
Energy sources can be categorised as follows:
Fossil fuel such as coal, oil or gas (combustion engine or electricity generation)
Renewable fuel (wood or other organic material)
Nuclear power (for heating and electricity generation)
Geothermal (for heating and electricity generation)
Electricity (which can be generated using other energy sources mentioned above or by hydro-electric generators, photo-voltaic cells or thermoelectric generators)
Energy can be in effect ‘stored’ by conversion to other forms. Practical types of storage include:
Electrical (using a rechargeable battery)
Mechanical (in a flywheel)
Chemical (electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen for fuel cells or combustion)
Hydroelectric (pumped water storage – for large scale systems)
In practice the energy sources for vehicular transport are combustible fuel or electricity from photovoltaic cells or from batteries. Photovoltaic cells on their own are not feasible for transport; they are typically used in conjunction with batteries and combustion engines.
True or False?
The cost per person-kilometre is lower for trains than for any other form of transport
Photovoltaic cells can generate high power electricity
It is more efficient in terms of energy to travel by electric train than by diesel train
Lubrication can remove friction in wheel bearings
Regenerative braking would be cost effective in the Dublin to Waterford railway line
As Electric trains are light; they are more cost efficient
DMU allows extra passenger capacity to be added at the same time as motive power
Science and Technology in Action (STA) is designed to support the teaching and learning of science and related subjects.
Each annual edition of STA contains a set of lessons that are industry led to be used by all teachers in second level schools. These lessons are available on this website and can be downloaded in a pdf format along with their supporting materials.
A hard copy is usually sent out for free to all second level schools each school year.
Science and Technology in Action (STA) is proudly supported and partnered by some of Ireland’s leading organisations and is produced in close cooperation with the support services of the Department of Education and Skills and the Irish Science Teachers Association (ISTA).