Wind for Schools Portal/7-8 Curricula
Wind for Schools Curricula: Middle School 7 - 8
Compared to elementary school students, middle school students come to school with more analytical skills and can to synthesize more and varied data sets, extracting ideas or concepts of what the data is illustrating. While they may have heard about wind power, climate change, and other related ideas, they may not totally understand these concepts and how they are related to one another. In middle school we can start to build a foundation around these concepts and weave a more complete narrative using different types of science to connect these concepts and ideas.
Contribute Educational Materials
Climate Change, Power Generation and Renewable Energy
Middle school is a great place to start having students make connections between human-induced climate change, what is driving this process, the reasons for it, and the steps we need to take if we want to reduce carbon emissions. Lessons that start to build vocabulary and understanding will go a long way toward helping students see the connections. The NEED Project investigates all kinds of power generation technologies and sets the stage for delving more deeply into wind.
Weather & Wind
Middle schools students extend their basic understanding of weather and begin to dig more deeply into macro-level concepts around global weather patterns, the causes of wind, and weather patterns over longer periods of time (climate). This provides a great opportunity for students to start looking at more detailed wind data, measuring wind, and exploring wind patterns.
Turbine Design and Function
There are a number of science standards in middle school for which students need to participate in experimental design, data collection and analysis, and optimization of models and devices. Classroom wind turbines (with gearboxes, blades, and generators) provide a robust of area of study for students to engage in meeting these standards through wind turbine design activities.
Forces and Magnetism
Middle school students more deeply explore forces on objects and this can be extended to windmills and wind turbines. Students also begin to learn more deeply about magnetism and electricity and we can extend that exploration to how generators transform the wind energy to electrical energy.
Expand your Understanding
If you have time, you can explore these resources to help you better understand wind energy before you start working with your students. Some of these resources may be appropriate to share with middle school students.
Exploring Climate Change & Introductory Student Readings
Books/Articles on Wind Energy Concepts
Introductory Lessons on Power & Energy
1 to 3 Day Curricula
How deeply you explore wind energy with your students depends on how much time you have available in your academic schedule. If you have 1 to 3 days available and want to explore wind energy, here are the most popular lessons that we use to engage students with wind energy topics.
We propose the following short courses for a 5 to 7 day exploration of wind energy in different subject matter. You will find that many of the NEED, Vernier and WindWise Lessons are modular and do not have to be used in any particular order. This means that teachers can be creative in how they organize the lessons in a way that makes sense for their students.
- Day by Day
- Day 1: Why Wind Power?
- Days 2-3: Measuring Wind, Understanding Wind, Where Is It Windy?
- Days 4-5: Siting a Wind Turbine at School
- Offshore Wind
- Day #1: Why Wind Power?
- Day #2/3: Energy Transformations (WindWise Lesson #1 )
- Day #3/4: Measuring Electricity (Understanding Voltage, Current and Power)
- Day #4/5: What is a Generator? (WindWise Lesson # 9)
- Wind Turbine Math (NEED Activity, Energy from the Wind Guide)
- Wind Turbines and Blade Design (NEED Activity, Energy from the Wind Guide, WindWise Lessons #10 & #11)
- Day #1: Why Wind Power?
- Day #2/3: MacGyver Windpower
- Day #4/5: Wind Turbines and Blade Design
- KidWind Challenge
- WhiteBox Learning Design a Turbine Software
- Energy Transformations - WindWise Lesson #1:
- Can Wind Power My Classroom - WindWise Lesson # 7 & NEED Wind for School Lesson
Students will be able to create a table to show the change in speeds at the different intervals of length from the hub and will discover that maximum blade speed is at the tip. Students will verify that maximum tip speed is at full radius.Students will be able to write and illustrate an article that describes the difference in speed at the various intervals addressed in the assignment.