See the Wind

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Grades

5-8, 9-12

Subject

Wind Energy

Summary

The goal of this activity is to help students see the difference in the speed and smoothness of the wind at different altitudes above the earth. This is important for wind engineers as they seek to place their wind turbines in the fastest and smoothest winds possible. It is also a major reason that wind turbines are getting larger and higher in the sky, and is why we are starting to see wind turbines in the plains and out in the ocean near the coast. Teacher background and assessment sheets are provided.

Curriculum

Math, Science, Social Studies

Plan Time

1-2 class periods

Materials

Handouts included; large sturdy kites or large helium-filled balloons; string; streamers (or yellow caution tape). Optional: wind speed meter (the Kestrel 1000 or InSpeed Hand-Held are nice meters to record wind velocity)

Standards

National Standards: 9-12

  • SEC-A: 1.d. Formulate and revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence. 
  • SEC-D: 1.c. Heating of earth’s surface and atmosphere by the sun drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans, producing winds and ocean currents. 
Owner

Kidwind Project

Lesson Plans/Activity