Wind for Schools
Why It Matters
How is your school powered? How about capturing the wind’s energy?
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America sponsors a program called Wind for Schools in which various schools across the nation install wind turbines on their campuses!
Are there any schools near you that are participating in this program?
1. While we can have windy days all over the world, some areas are naturally more prone to have higher wind speeds caused by factors such as air pressure gradients and local weather conditions. Below you will see two maps. The first map identifies potentially where the highest winds would be located in the United States. The second map identifies how much wind energy is captured throughout the United States. Use the following two maps to answer the questions below:
- -Where would you expect to see the fastest wind speeds?
- -What states have the most wind energy production currently?
- -If you were advising the U.S. Department of Energy, where would you recommend that they build more wind turbines? Why?
Wind Resource Map
2. The University of Minnesota filmed the construction of their wind turbine and created this time lapse video:
- Build your own wind turbine! Use the references below to guide you in the designing and building process of your mini-wind turbine:
- How do they work? http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/wind-power-interactive/
- What variables should I consider? (Pages 21-28 of packet include lab formats) http://need.org/needpdf/ExploringWindStudent.pdf
U.S. Department of Energy http://energy.gov/articles/students-learn-about-wind-power-first-hand-through-wind-schools-program
Wind Powering America.U.S. Department of Energy. http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/schools/projects.asp
University of Minnesota. http://youtu.be/1AvIhZAqYcE
NEED (National Energy Education Development Project). http://need.org/needpdf/ExploringWindStudent.pdf
Connections to other CK-12 Subject Areas
- Potential vs. Kinetic Energy