Fabulous Resources for Energy Education

Resources: Wind Energy


Wind is created by uneven heating of Earth’s surface by the sun. When harnessed, wind can be used as a clean, renewable energy source to help power the world. So who knew a breeze blowing through the trees could have the potential of generating electricity? In Iowa alone, over $9.8 billion dollars have been invested in Iowa’s wind farms, according to Iowa Wind Energy Association. About 75% of Iowa is suitable for wind energy development.

F.R.E.E. (Fabulous Resources for Energy Education) strives to educate students and educators alike about wind energy. We loan many resources to schools and groups across the state to learn more about this valuable natural resource. Our most popular resource includes the KISS Wind Kit, which can teach students the power of wind energy by making their own model wind turbines. Our complete list of wind materials, activities and lesson plans are listed below.

 

F.R.E.E. Wind Energy Materials:

 

KISS Wind Kits
(Keep It Simple Students!)

KISS Wind Kits

Students are able to create five different wind turbines. The kit also includes instructions on how to create pinwheel and spoke blades. Students can test their own blades with the LED light sticks included in each kit. View the instruction manual (pdf) to see a complete list of everything you receive in a KISS Wind Kit. Available for Iowa educators to borrow (F.R.E.E. Loan Form) or for anyone to purchase (F.R.E.E. Store).


Propeller Kits

Propeller KitsWith each propeller kit, students receive nine different kinds of blades that they are able to test out on the wind turbines. Using a multimeter and a hair dryer or fan, students compare output for blade shape, size, and number. This a great critical thinking and hands on experience for the students. Available for Iowa educators to borrow (F.R.E.E. Loan Form).

CAD and 3-D Printing Files
We are now making our propeller blades and wind turbine hubs with a 3-D printer.  We are using Inventer software, which you can downlaod free for educational use at http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/inventor-professional  We have provided the ipt files, so you may edit them.  Or you may use the stl file to input to your 3-D printer.

2 Blade Contoured Propeller R.ipt2 Blade Contoured Propeller R.stl
3 Blade Contoured Propeller R.ipt3 Blade Contoured Propeller R.stl
4 Blade Contoured Propeller R.ipt4 Blade Contoured Propeller R.stl
2mm Snowflake wind hub.ipt2mm Snowflake wind hub.stl
One-eighth Snowflake wind hub.iptOne-eighth Snowflake wind hub.stl


Kestral MetersKestral Meters

Kestral meters allow students to measure the average, instantaneous, and maximum wind speed. Simply by blowing into the blade on top, students can measure their own wind speed and compare their results to the Beaufort scale, charts designed for wind turbines, to see how windy they are in comparison. It’s a fun way to compete with other students for the highest number and to feel how much wind is needed to power a wind turbine. Available for Iowa educators to borrow (F.R.E.E. Loan Form).

Wind Tunnel

Borrow the vinyl cover to turn a matched pair of fans into a safe place to test your wind turbines. You will need your own box or other fans and velcro. Available for Iowa educators to borrow (F.R.E.E. Loan Form). Or make your own tunnel from a tablecloth vinyl available at fabric stores using the instructional video below.

 

F.R.E.E. Wind Energy Activities and Lesson Plans:

KISS Wind Videos

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources