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Teaching Kids About Wind Energy

Updated on April 13, 2015

Introduction

Science fair projects are a good place to start when teaching kids about wind energy. These projects provide students with the opportunity to explore wind energy on their own. However, in order to get a wind energy science fair project module off the ground you will need to provide your students with a few preliminary learning activities.

Background Lecture

Renewable energy education in the classroom is the topic of the introductory lecture that you will need to deliver to your students before setting them loose to create a science fair project. This lecture will need to focus on the fundamental concepts of wind energy. For example, you will want to talk about wind currents, the history of the windmill, the design of a wind turbine and about how electricity is produced by the wind turbine.

Group Learning Activity - Windmill Project

After you have delivered your introductory lecture, or lectures, you can present your students with a group windmill project. This project will be to have your students work in teams to build a windmill/wind turbine using a wind turbine/windmill kit. This project can be a simple follow the instructions project or it can be a design-your-own windmill competition.

If you select the completion option then you will want to establish a set of rules for the competition and offer a prize that the students will be interested in. For example, you can offer them a get out of homework free pass or a bump your science grade up one letter grade coupon. The competition can be a great event to connect with an open house or a special parents’ event. This way your students can show off their innovation to their parents.

3 To 5 Students Per Group Project For Each Kit

Wind Energy Science Fair Project Activities

The next step in the wind energy module needs to be a self-directed learning activity. In this example students will be completing a wind energy science fair project. You can help your students to come up with a science fair project idea by brainstorming in class. Here the brainstorming activities can include a class discussion, word association and library activities. To give your students a competitive advantage, require that each student produce a unique topic for their wind energy science fair project.

Once topics have been selected provide your students with time at the Internet lab or the library. During this time they will need to research their topic and write a short report about what research has been done on their topic. This information will be used to develop a science fair project angle, a project hypothesis and an experiment design.

Thinking Outside the Box

Since wind energy science fair projects are common at most science fairs, your students need to be encouraged to think outside the box when they develop their project ideas. You can encourage your students to think outside the box by creating cards that have different words on them that the student will need to apply to their project. For example, you may have a card that says biology. The student that draws this card will need to find a biology angle to apply to their project, such as studying the biological effects that wind turbines have on people that work with wind turbines or that live near wind farms.

Other word cards you can create include:

1.      Health

2.      Environment

3.      Wildlife

4.      Pollution

5.      Efficiency

6.      Power output

7.      Wind torque

8.      Profile

9.      Height

10.  Circuits

11.  Cost of production

12.  Cost of maintenance

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