In this hands-on engineering activity, students build a tabletop wind turbine. Students 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). The activity includes lots of good media and web resources supporting the science content.

This animation presents the characteristics of wind power as a source of clean energy. The viewer may examine how a wind turbine works by pausing and clicking on its components. They include a gear box, rotor, high-speed shaft, generator, wind vane, yaw drive, yaw motor, anemometer, controller, tower, and brake.

This animated map shows prevailing surface wind direction and strength across the lower 48 states of the US.

This interactive diagram from the National Academy of Sciences shows how we rely on a variety of primary energy sources (solar, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, natural gas, coal, biomass, oil) to supply energy to four end-use sectors (residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation). It also focuses on lost or degraded energy.

In this short activity, students or groups are tasked to make concept sketches that track the source of electrical power as far back as they can conceive. The concept sketches reveal students' prior conceptions of the power grid and energy mix, and lead naturally into a lesson or discussion about energy resources and power production.

This video is one of a series of videos produced by the Switch Energy project. It presents the pros and cons of wind power, such as where to build, affordability, efficiency, transmission.

This is a series of 10 short videos, hosted by the National Science Foundation, each featuring scientists, research, and green technologies. The overall goal of this series is to encourage people to ask questions and look beyond fossil fuels for innovative solutions to our ever-growing energy needs.

This video is one of a series from the Switch Energy project. It reviews the environmental impacts of various energy resources including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables. CO2 emissions as a specific environmental impact are discussed.

This activity is a learning game in which student teams are each assigned a different energy source. Working cooperatively, students use their reading, brainstorming, and organizational skills to hide the identity of their team's energy source while trying to guess which energy sources the other teams represent.

Students go through the design process and the scientific process to test the effect of blade design on power output. There is an optional extension to use the data to create an optimal set of wind turbine blades.

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