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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

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
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
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?
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
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
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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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