Welcome to the WindAid/PVSolarPros educators resources!
This guide is meant to accompany the traveling wind/solar materials, but we hope you find this information useful for all your classes!
You can also schedule a video call with a renewable energy specialist to talk with your class, and answer their questions! Email time/date options to [email protected]
The accompanying wind generator was built in Trujillo, Peru by a group of volunteers and local facilities at an organization called WindAid. These wind generators are normally used to provide power for remote schools, medical posts, or even community power supply. These schools typically have only 20-30 students, many of which travel through the mountain trails for more than an hour to reach the school!
This wind generator was designed for durability. The blades are a combination of polyurethane/fiberglass cores with a carbon fiber exoskeleton. The magnets and coils are sealed in a resin/fiberglass shell to protect it from the elements. The sealed bearings are very inexpensive to replace, and are available worldwide, to keep maintenance cheap and easy. In a windy environment, this wind generator can complete over 30,000 rotations in just one hour, and the blades can reach speeds up to 320 kph (about 200 mph). Unlike traditional wind generators that turn out of the wind to keep them safe, the WindAid wind generator was built to sustain high winds. However, it would likely not survive in extreme weather conditions like tornadoes or hurricanes. It is typically installed in regions that do not experience this sort of extreme weather.
A larger version of the WindAid wind generator is the highest altitude wind generator in the world. It is installed at 16,000 fasl (feet above sea level) in Pastoruri, Peru. There is a small community at the base of a glacier that has been quickly disappearing at an alarming rate, the effect of global warming. Guinness World Record June 19, 2013.
The solar panel provided is a very base quality solar panel. It was designed for short term use. However, some solar panels have guarantees of 25 years. With no moving parts, solar is considered a very low maintenance clean energy solution. However, solar performance degrades over time. A general estimate of a 0.6% reduction per year is used in calculations of long term production.
Energy 101 Solar Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsZITSeQFR0
Energy 101 Wind Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0elhIcPVtKE
K-12 Resources and Curricula
Below is a list of wind energy curricula and teaching materials for elementary, middle school, and high school students that can bring wind energy into the classroom, even for students at schools without a solar or wind turbine installation.
In the Save on Energy Kids Learning Center, explore energy savings and electrical safety with fun coloring workbooks featuring “Nico the Ninja.” Parents will find ideas for activities and saving energy around the house.
Avista provides interactive games, videos and lessons for kids, parents and teachers. Avista Kids is for kindergarten through third grade, to learn about energy efficiency and safety around energy. e-SMART Kids is for kids in grades three through six, to learn how to use energy safely and responsibly.
Wind Curricula and Lesson Plans
- Wind for Schools Curricula Portal on OpenEI
- 4-H Group Wind Curriculum
- Boise State University (lesson plans, wind energy presentations, videos)
- Education Resources from the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office
- CLEAN (Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network)
- PBS wind energy lesson plans
- National Energy Education Development Project K-12 wind curriculum
- TryEngineering: Working with Wind Energy
- WindWise Education (lesson plans, handouts, supporting materials)
- STEM-Works Wind Energy Activities
- Wind with Miller (animated website that teaches kids of all ages about wind power basics)
- U.S. Energy Information Agency: Energy Kids
- 3M Wind Energy Virtual Lab: Design, build, and test a wind turbine
- University of Northern Iowa STEM: free wind energy resources
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Energy Education
- Educators for the Environment: Energy for Keeps (includes a wind energy section)
- Mortenson Construction: Catch the Wind
- U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Literacy Videos
- TEDEd: A Guide to the Energy of the Earth
- PBS SciGirls: Blowin’ in the Wind
- GreenLearning Canada Foundation: Wind Energy
If you have suggestions for wind energy teaching materials to add to the list, please email [email protected]