90 Minutes  |  3rd – 8th Grades

wind

This activity provides an introduction to the sources of renewable energy, with a focus on wind power.  Students will then be introduced to the wind turbine activity, in which they create blades for their own turbine, working in groups of 2-4.  The blades are fit to the Center for STEM Education’s wind turbines, which are used to either generate electricity via a motor, or lift a weight (box of crayons) via a drive shaft.  Both models can be used to calculate the amount of watts generated by the students’ blades.  By adjusting the size (area) of the blades, the shape, angle, and length of arm (radius), students can analyze which designs work best.

This activity has highly variable range of levels of intricacy, and can be conducted very effectively with any range of students.

MA Framework Content Standards:
K-2:
Earth Science: 2. Air is Gas
Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics): Forms of Energy 4+5

High School:
Earth and Space Science: 1.4. Unequal Heating of Earth,  1.5. Revolution Around Tilted Axis2.1. Renewable Energy Sources,  2.2. Carbon Cycle and Effects of Renewable Energy on the Environment, Scientific Inquiries 1-4.
Physics:  2.3 Work as Mechanical Energy2.5 Power as Work per Time.

Lesson Plan:
Wind Turbine Lesson Plan

Handouts:
Wind Energy Worksheet
What is Energy
Wind Turbine Worksheet
Wind Turbine Worksheet – Elementary
Wind Info Page

Presentations:
Wind Turbines Prezi – Middle
Renewable Energy Prezi
Snap Circuits + Wind Turbines Prezi – Elementary