Wind Power

By Sharill Prey-Luedtke

Grade Level: 9-12

Introduction:

This activity will introduce students an alternate ways to produce electricity. The main focus will be on wind power and the role it plays in Nebraska's needs. Students will utilize the world wide web, knowledge of kinetic and potential energy and Nebraska geography.

Procedure:

1. Provide each group (pairs work the best) a list of helpful guidelines and explain that they should not feel limited. Possible guidelines are:

Wind Energy Web Page http://hpccsun.unl.edu/wind/

  • Explain the history of wind power in Nebraska
  • Define kinetic and potential energy and explain their rolls in wind power.
  • List and describe five factors that must be considered before a site was chosen for a wind farm.
  • Find and locate the eight wind farms in Nebraska.

2. After students have completed their research, provide them supplies for creating models of wind farms utilizing their knowledge from research (the five factors). Models should of the quality for presenting to class.  

3. Provide each student a sheet showing your grading criteria. Below is an example.

______pts typed report (double spaced, size 12, x# of sources and cited-only 1 www source, x# of pages)

______pts community expert (identify name, title, agency, phone number, questions asked and their answers)

______pts interest page(what did you find interesting, learn, etc.)

______pts model

______pts presentation

Total _________pts  

4. After presenting their models have students place them around the room and discuss their design concepts.

Extensions:

  1. Present their findings to other classes.
  2. Explore other natural energy sources and compare (i.e. solar)
  3. Experiment with the best design for a wind mill.
  4. Graphing of wind speeds at different heights.