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As the Rotor Turns: Wind Power and You


Source Institutions

    WGBH

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As the Rotor Turns: Wind Power and You

In this engineering activity, learners will get acquainted with the basics of wind energy and power production by fabricating and testing various blade designs for table-top windmills constructed from one-inch PVC pipe and balsa wood (or recycled materials). This lesson plan is divided into three parts. In Part I, learners explore outdoors and examine where wind comes from. In Part II, learners review the power equation and wind as an energy resource. Finally, in Part III, learners work in groups to construct and test their wind turbines. During each section, learners can view video segments that are linked to this resource.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
    • Technology
      • Energy and Power
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Rotation Motion
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and the Environment
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Includes assesments for student learning

Access Rights:

  • Free access with registration

By:

  • WPSU

Source Collection:

  • Teachers' Domain

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, ©2011

Funding Sources:

  • West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, Inc.
  • CPB
  • National Science Foundation

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