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Primary Education News
News Fracking and shale gas – news and teaching resources round up
A controversial oil drilling technique being used in Sussex has ignited debate about fracking. Here are some resources to help you explore why it has split opinion across the country
Protesters have been campaigning for more than two weeks against the decision to dig for fuel at a site near the West Sussex village of Balcombe. They fear diggers will use a method called hydraulic fracturing – known as fracking – and that this could lead to water pollution. Their demonstrations have put the spotlight on the fracking industry and what it could mean for the country.
To help you discuss the issue in class, we have collated the best news stories, teaching resources on energy and helpful websites. You'll find a video showing you how fracking works, photos giving an insight into its impact in America and an idea for how pupils can create their own greenhouse gas, as well as articles clearly setting out the facts.
From the Guardian
Q&A: shale gas and fracking
What is fracking? How can it help the UK meet its energy demands? What are the environmental concerns? This Q&A sets out the facts.
Fracking protest: who's who in the battle of Balcombe?
Find out about the different people involved in the campaign at Balcombe. From local residents and environmentalists, to a pop star's daughter and a former page 3 model.
Meet the Balcombe fracking protesters – video
Dozens of protesters have been arrested for disrupting trucks carrying equipment to the site in West Sussex. Here they tell us why they are protesting.
BP global energy statistics: the world's oil production, reserves and energy consumption
See how countries around the world compare for fuel consumption, production and reserves. The interactive map allows you to break this down by different types of fuel.
40 years of energy consumption in the UK: where do we get our power from? – interactive graphic
The interactive guide shows you how our energy consumption has changed since 1970.
Will fracking in Lancashire's green hills solve Britain's energy crisis?
The piece looks at both sides of the fracking debate. Is it the route to cheap pollution-free energy? Or, is it a dangerous process that will poison the countryside? Facts about fracking are also given at the end of the article.
The rise and rise of American carbon
One of the key arguments in favour of shale gas fracking is that it has helped US carbon emissions fall. The article discusses this in detail and looks at its wider impact on the environment.
On the Guardian Teacher Network
Guide to the future of energy
If you're feeling bogged down by the different issues surrounding the UK's energy future, this topic guide gives an introduction to the key arguments. It debates whether the UK should avoid a "dash for gas", looking at why it has become a hot topic and concerns about fracking. It also offers suggestions for further reading.
Lesson on sustainable development and energy
Suitable for key stage 3, the slides teach pupils about different types of energy, how it affects the environment and the importance of sustainable development. The pack is divided into different levels and links to helpful news articles are given.
Guide to fossil fuels
The topic guide debates whether it would be better for new fossil fuel reserves to stay in the ground. It sets out the problems with using fossil fuels and considers alternative energy sources, as well as offering recommendations for additional reading.
Best of the web
How does fracking work? – video
A video showing clearly and simply how fracking works. The website also has lots of other helpful information, from the history of the natural gas industry to the impact fracking has around the world.
The fracking landscape – photos
Photos from the National Geographic explore the impact fracking has had in North Dakota, on the surrounding land and people living nearby.
Climate Radio – podcast
The radio programme debates the UK's energy future. Guests include the chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, the co-ordinator of Frack Free Sussex and a student from New York Youth Against Fracking.
Extracting fuel from rock – interactive graphic
Go underground with this graphic from the National Geographic and see step-by-step how the process of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling work.
Gasland film highlights – video
After being offered $100,000 for the natural gas drilling rights to his property, filmmaker Josh Fox travelled across America to investigate hydraulic fracturing. The documentary he made won an Emmy and was nominated for an Oscar. Highlights from the film are shown in the short clip.