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S2 Science (Fuels) Course Plan


Curriculum Area Curriculum for Excellence ‘Benchmark’ Activity

of the planet



sources and sustainability


Explains how the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased over time, for example, through respiration of organisms, deforestation and increased combustion of fuels.


Draws on supporting evidence, quotes and sources to demonstrate an association between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increasing global temperatures as a result of the greenhouse effect.


Describes chemical reactions involving the Earth’s materials, for example, combustion of fossil fuels, carbonate rocks reacting with acid and the formation and impact of acid rain.


Presents research findings on the advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of renewable energy sources and their impact on society, demonstrating an informed view based on evidence.

Learners will participate in and be able to identify exothermic and endothermic reactions.

Through practical activities learners will demonstrate the principal of the fire triangle and that a fire requires heat, oxygen and fuel. Removing one of these causes the fire to go out.

Learners can make their own fire extinguisher.

Learners can design a poster or investigate how to prevent fires and extinguish different types of fires.


Environmental impact of carbon dioxide can be demonstrated by practical work to show how global warming occurs.


This is an opportunity to discuss carbon/global footprints (resources available from the Education Scotland website). The effect of CO2 on global warming can be demonstrated by charting the temperature of plastic bottles filled with air, water vapour, CO2 (and possibly methane) exposed to a heat source over time. The effect of increased temperature on the ability of the oceans to absorb extra CO2 as well as the effect of reduced pH on shells could also be investigated).


Other non-metal oxide pollutants could be introduced as well as an investigation into the effects of lower pH on cress seed growth and limestone or marble.


Learners could investigate processes associated with reducing the environmental impact of hydrocarbons by society such as carbon capture, uses of detergents in oil spills and how plastics are recycled.

Different types of biomass can be burned and the amount of energy released can be compared. Types of biomass can include samples collected from field trips and the surrounding area as well as recycled waste within the school (e.g. paper, cardboard, sawdust).

Learners produce a leaflet promoting advantages or disadvantages of a local biomass plant.


Practical to demonstrate products of sugar and methanol combustion. Samples burned and products drawn through a test tube containing cobalt chloride paper and a second test tube containing lime water.


Coffee whitener is carefully shaken over a burning spill held in a clamp stand demonstrates combustion of energy sources such as carbohydrates and effect of surface area on speed of a reaction.



Review from S1:

Reacting calcium carbonate and HCl


Models of wind turbines and solar cells can be used to compare the amount of energy produced and identify some of the difficulties associated with maintaining the energy production.


Investigation of electricity production in Scotland and creation of a poster or PowerPoint summarising different locations and the method of electricity production.

Learners investigate the cost of electricity and costs associated with developing alternative energy sources.



Earth’s materials

Investigates and describes how at least two useful substances can be extracted from natural resources, for example, metal from mineral ores, dyes from plants and oils from plants. Carbohydrates, fats and oils will be identified as source of energy and starting materials for cosmetics

Herbs or plant bulbs can be grown +/- fertiliser and the rate of growth can be measured.

Investigation of nutrient content of a variety of foods using food labels.

Evidence of presence of fat in a variety of foods using filter paper test. Stain on filter paper indicates presence of fat or oil.

Vitamin C presence using iodine solution which decolourises.

Protein testing where the food sample heated with soda lime produces a gas which is alkaline and turns litmus paper blue.

The presence of sugars assessed using Benedict’s solution which turns brick-red in presence of a reducing sugar.

The presence of starch is tested through the addition of iodine solution which turns blue/black.


The plant content or contribution of plant products to everyday products such as shampoos, soaps and body lotions is identified through analysis of labels.

Several herbs are used and learners match fragrance of herb to a well-known use and every day product.

Learners are able to identify herbs and research their uses and history, including the following examples:


·         Peppermint — toothpaste or mouthwash

·         Thyme — mouthwash

·         Lavender — pillow for sleeplessness, pain relief or skin cream

·         Lemon — hair products, soaps

·         Eucalyptus — antiseptic or sinus inhalant


Making perfumes by blending essential oils and noting change in fragrance as different oils are mixed.


Activities researching medicines:

Approximately 30% of medicines used today are derived from plants. The label on a medicine or pharmaceutical product describes the contents of the product and what is can be used for.

Plants such as foxglove, willow, meadowsweet, poppies and Chinchona were commonly used in earlier times for the treatment of diseases such as heart disease, inflammatory diseases and malaria.

Scottish scientists were instrumental in the development of willow, poppies and Chinchona in the treatment of disease.

Aspirin is a medicine that is derived from meadowsweet and willow. Morphine, used to treat pain is derived from poppies.