The Ermen & Engels power plant is on winter break and is only open to groups on request. From 31.03.2023 it will be open again regularly.

Electricity Workshop

Station learning in the Museum

The European Union logo.
Four children stand around a table and play the renewable energies quartet together

Nothing functions without electricity – no washing machine, no smartphone, no train service, no heart-and-lung machine. Even on a farm electricity is essential for survival! On the other hand, power stations are partly responsible for climate change. The topic “electricity” concerns everyone.

At six workstations pupils play in the electricity workshop and discuss about power generation, the significance of electricity and the consequences for the environment.

Detailed view of children's hands at a play station

Know why it sizzles!

The zdi-pupil laboratory (Zukunft durch Innovation = future through innovation) is directed at pupils from class 5 to class 10 at all types of schools.

In small groups they explore the MINT topics: for example electricity generation using a magnet and a coil or the functioning of a generator. Pupils test what effects the construction of water power plants have on the landscape and in a play-like atmosphere generate a stable electricity network under different conditions. At the end they compete in a computer game which involves finding the best strategic solutions in the event of a severe power failure – who helps with an emergency power supply, blanket, candle and drinking water?

A scout accompanies the group and provides suggestions. The programme is adapted to the level of the class.


Boy and girl put cards at a table

Information and Booking

Duration: approx. 120 minutes

Entrance fee: free of charge also for teachers and accompanying persons.

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Fridays from 9 to 17 hours. Also bookable during the winter season!

Options for families are published separately, please consult our event calendar.

The electricity workshop is accessible. There is a disabled toilet in the town hall next door.

The electricity workshop has a separate entrance: from the museum entrance walk towards the town hall, up the steps and then left over the pedestrian bridge.

Visitor information and to book guided tours for school classes and groups:

Kulturinfo-rheinland under Tel.: 02234/9921-555 (Mon-Fri 8-18 hours, Sat, Sun and public holidays 10-15 hours)
or per email to

If you require specialist advice then just contact Sonja Nanko, Scientific Consultant at the Kraftwerk Ermen & Engels (Power Plant), or Tel. 02263/9285114.


Three children stand around a table on which a sketched map is depicted. You have building blocks with various energy suppliers at hand that you can use and place as you wish.

Curriculum

MINT at the Museum

The electricity workshop is a place of out-of-school learning which encourages the fun of resolving planning, scientific and technical problems in the discussion about the topic electricity and power supply. At the same time the topics relate to the everyday life of children and adolescents. At the different workstations the pupils discuss amongst themselves in small groups. In this way opinion-forming and social competence are developed in addition to technical discussion. The electricity workshop covers process-related competence and specialised topics from natural science education, communicates these and delves deeper into them.

Secondary School

The electricity workshop demonstrates through play how power is generated and distributed. The workstations provide numerous points of contact with the subjects design/technology, social studies/geography and natural sciences/physics.

Curriculum

Subject: Natural sciences/physics (5th to 10th class)

Sector/Topic: Use of energy and future-proof power supply

Evaluation:

The pupils can:

• Compare electric devices in respect of their power requirement and work out power saving potential in the home environment,

• Evaluate, critically deliberate and rate data relating to the energy efficiency grades of electrical devices.

Subject: Design/technology (7th to 10th class)

Sector/Topic: Energy supply and saving

Technical competence:

The pupils:

• Name different systems for the transformation of energy and the forms in which energy is conducted and discharged,

• Compare the energy and raw material consumption of household devices,

• Name the factors which determine the efficiency of energy consumers and the measures to save and conserve resources,

• Describe the difference between fossil, nuclear and regenerative energy sources and their potential in power generation.

Judgement and decision-making competence:

The pupils:

• Evaluate technical (household) devices with respect to their quality and power consumption and discuss different methods to optimise them,

• Judge based on criteria the use of fossil, nuclear and regenerative energy sources from the perspective of different protagonists,

• Discuss the opportunities and development potential of ecologically oriented power generation with reference to climate protection and conservation of resources,

• Formulate their own justified standpoint,

• Make decisions in technically defined situations, justifying the options for action and considering alternatives.

Subject: Social studies/Geography (7th to 10th class)

Sector/Topic: Energy supply and climate protection

Technical competence:

The pupils can:

• Name and differentiate between renewable and non-renewable resources,

• Pinpoint raw material deposits in Germany and worldwide and describe important transport routes for raw materials,

• Describe reasons for the use and consumption of non-renewable resources and explain the consequences for the environment,

• Explain the (future) effects of the made-made climate change and describe both the international climate protection and climate adaptation measures and also personal opportunities for action.

Judgement competence:

The pupils can:

• Critically scrutinise and judge their own attitude towards energy sources,

• Discuss the necessity for global efforts to protect the environment and assess the possibilities open to them to act.


Comprehensive School

In small groups the pupils discuss various questions relating to the topic energy. The stations designed on a play level are linked to the natural science subjects and design/technology.

Curriculum

Subject: Design/Technology (7th to 10th class)

Sector/Topic: Power supply and saving

Technical competence:

The pupils:

• Compare the power and raw material consumption of household devices.

• Describe the difference between fossil, nuclear and regenerative energy resources and their potential in power generation.

• Explain the functioning, use as well as opportunities and risks of the different power station types used to generate power.

• Describe using an example the effects of sustainable consumption and energy consumption.

Judgement and decision-making competence:

The pupils:

• Evaluate technical (household) devices in respect of their quality and their consumption and discuss different optimisation measures.

• Discuss the opportunities and development potential of ecologically oriented power generation with reference to climate protection and resource conservation.

Subject: Natural sciences/physics (7th to 10th class)

Sector/Topic: Electrical power supply, radioactivity and nuclear energy

Application of technical knowledge:

The pupils can:

• Describe examples of non-renewable and regenerative sources of energy and explain the main differences.

• Describe the make-up and the functioning of an electric motor, a generator and a transformer and explain this with the help of the magnetic effect of electrical current and electromagnetic induction.

• Describe the transformation of energy forms between a power station and households taking into account power degradation.

Increased perception:

The pupils can:

• Determine the energy and output transferred in electrical circuits.

• Determine the power requirement and output of electrical household devices and calculate their energy costs.

• Show in a differentiated manner the physical, technical and social problems arising from the use of nuclear power.

Communication:

The pupils can:

• Determine and visualise the proportions of the different types of energy in the energy mix from energy supply charts.

Assessment:

The pupils can:

• Weigh up against one another on a justifiable basis the advantages and disadvantages of non-renewable and regenerative energy sources in respect of a physical/technical, economic and ecological use also in respect of climate change using an example for each one and make an assessment.

• Take up their own position with regard to the use of nuclear power, stating the criteria and supporting their view with suitable arguments.


Secondary school

Topics related to everyday life such as power consumption in a household permit personal judgements and assessments. The pupils organise themselves in small groups, allocate the tasks and work out results together. This option is based on the subjects – physics, geography and compulsory optional subject – technology.

Curriculum

Subject: Physics (5th and 6th school year)

Sector/Topic: Electricity and magnetism

Application of technical knowledge:

The pupils can:

Name the elements necessary in an electric power circuit and differentiate between simple series and parallel connections.

Increased perception:

The pupils can:

• Explain processes in an electric circuit using simple models.

Communication:

The pupils can:

• In small groups assume the initiative and responsibilities, allocate the tasks fairly and carefully carry these out in the agreed time frame.

Subject: Physics (9th and 10th class)

Sector/Topic: Electrical energy supply

Application of technical knowledge:

The pupils can:

• Describe examples of non-renewable and regenerative energy sources and explain the significant differences.

Assessment:

The pupils can:

• Weigh up against one another on a justifiable basis the advantages and disadvantages of non-renewable and regenerative energy sources in respect of a physical/technical, economic and ecological use also in respect of climate change using an example for each one and make an assessment.

Subject: Geography (7th to 10th class)

Sector/Topics: Natural and man-made threat to habitat and change in political structures and the structures of economic regions under the influence of globalisation.

Technical competence:

The pupils:

• Explain the main reasons (e.g. CO2-emissions, surface sealing, deforestation) and effects (global warming, ground erosion, desertification, flooding) for the man-made climate change and set out the climate protection measures required globally and also personal opportunities to act.

• Compare the most important energy sources in respect of their economic, ecological and geopolitical conditionality.

Judgement competence:

The pupils

• Judge the effects of their own behaviour on the environment in different contexts (mobility/traffic, consumption, rubbish generation, behaviour in a natural environment).

• Discuss the advantages and disadvantages in the use of different energy sources.

Subject: Technology (9th and 10th class)

Sector/topic: Power engineering

Technical competence:

The pupils:

• Explain the social and ecological effects of a globally increasing energy requirement.

Judgement and decision-making competence:

The pupils:

• Evaluate the energy transforming devices and systems from everyday life in respect of their energy efficiency and their ecological balance.

• Discuss savings potential by reducing demand and optimised use of energy transforming devices and systems.

• Assess fossil and regenerative types of energy in respect of storage capability and range.


Grammar school

The pupils learn the laws of physics and discuss social, ecological and economic components of power generation and distribution. The visit is suitable to supplement the subjects physics and geography.

Curriculum

Subject: Physics (5th and 6th class (new core curriculum))

Sector/Topic: Electric power and magnetism

Application of technical knowledge:

The pupils can:

• Adequately describe in technical terms the effects of electricity (warmth, light, magnetism) and name examples for their use in electrical devices.

• Using examples of electrical circuits illustrate the flow of energy and the transformation and degradation of energy.

• Classify selected materials based on their electrical and magnetic properties, electric conductivity, ferromagnetism.

• Explain the forces between magnets and between magnets and magnetisable materials via magnetic fields.

Increased perception:

The pupils can:

• Make visible and study the structure of magnetic fields using appropriate aids.

Assessment:

The pupils can:

• Name possibilities for sparing use of electrical energy in the household and assess these under various criteria.

Subjet: Physics (7th to 9th class (new core curriculum))

Sectors/Topics: Electricity and power supply

Application of technical knowledge:

The pupils can:

• Calculate the energy requirement and output of electrical household devices and the corresponding energy costs.

• Describe the make-up and function of generators and transformers and explain the generation and transformation of alternating current using electromagnetic induction.

• Describe energy transformations from the power station to the household taking into account energy degradations and substantiate in basic terms the use of high voltage to transfer electrical energy.

• Describe, using examples from everyday life, the technical application of electromagnetic induction.

• Indicate examples of conventional and regenerative energy sources and compare these based on different criteria.

• Explain the problems of fluctuating availability of energy and present possibilities to store energy.

Increased perception:

The pupils can:

• Analyse data on their own use of electrical devices (e.g. electricity bills, product information, details about energy efficiency).

Assessment:

The pupils can:

• Make purchasing decisions with regard to electrical devices taking into consideration physical and extra-physical criteria,

• Argumentatively assess the necessity for responsible use of (electrical) energy.

• Weigh up against one another on a justifiable basis and assess the advantages and disadvantages of non-renewable and regenerative energy sources in respect of climate change

• Pin-point the opportunities and limitations of physical perceptions for the use of energy sources.

Subject: Physics (7th to 9th class) (Old core curriculum/G 8)

Basic Concept: Energy

Competence:

The pupils can:

• Explain that the energy which we use can be generated from exhaustible or regenerative sources.

Substantiate the need to “save energy” and explain the possibilities for doing this in their personal environment.

• Compare and assess the different ways of generating, converting and using energy from physical/technical, economic and ecological aspects and discuss the social relevance and acceptance.

Subject: Geography (7th to 9 th class) (New core curriculum)

Sector/Topic: Weather and climate

Technical competence:

The pupils:

• Explain fundamental physical mechanisms of the man-made influence on the global climate and the resultant consequences.

Judgement competence:

The pupils:

• Assess selected measures to slow down global warming in terms of a secure and financially affordable energy supply.

• Discuss approaches to avoid climate-damaging behaviour in everyday life.


The equipping of the electricity workshop was supported by:

The logos of the supporters of the power workshop: Community Engelskirchen, zdi - Center InvestMINT Oberberg North Rhine Westphalia, Agger Energie, HPC, Ingenieurbüro Osterhammel GmbH and APTIV.

LVR-Industriemuseum
Kraftwerk Ermen & Engels
Engels-Platz 2
51766 Engelskirchen