Scale Models and Wind Turbines

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Lesson Plans/Activity: Scale Models and Wind Turbines Adode PDF
Grades: 5-8 , 9-12
Subject: Wind Energy

As wind turbines and wind farms become larger to take advantage of the economies of scale and increased wind speeds at higher altitudes, their impact in the locales where they are sited becomes more dramatic. One place this is especially contentious is in the offshore environment of the Northeast. This lesson explores scale models and the issues surrounding models and their accuracy when developing a large wind farm. Worksheets are included.

Curriculum: Math, Science, Social Studies
Plan Time:1-2 class periods

National Standards: 5-8

  • INT-A: 1.d. Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
  • INT-A: 1.h. Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
  • INT-E: 2.f. Perfectly designed solutions do not exist. All technological solutions have trade-offs, such as safety, cost, efficiency, and appearance. Risk is part of living in a highly technological world. Reducing risk often results in new technology.

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Handouts included; 5-10 model turbines (or you can use pictures that that you make); cardboard; green, blue and brown paint; meter sticks; 100m tape measure (can make measuring easier); images of turbines; readings about Cape Wind and other offshore and onshore site debates for wind farms; and a number of scale model items such as Ken, Barbie, or other dolls of varying size, model airplanes, matchbox cars, and model cars of maps at different scale.

Owner: Kidwind Project