Lesson plan

Wind energy

Design a Wind spinner and Electrical circuits to understand the components of a wind turbine.
Science content
Physics: Energy forms, Conservation of Energy (1, 3, 4, 5)
Physics: Electricity, Electromagnetism (7)
Earth/Space: Rock cycle, Earth Materials, Natural resources (5)
Earth/Space: Sustainable practices, Interconnectedness (2, 5, 7)

Wind is a renewable natural resource.

Summary of natural resource ideas:
Natural resources are materials all around us in our natural world, that are resources for making things.
They are valuable for us, for making energy or providing food or building structures.
List of natural resources: water, rocks/minerals, wind, forests, oceans, sunlight.
Some resources are renewable - they are replaced as we use them e.g. water, wind, sunlight, forests. (Although they are renewable we need to be careful how fast we use them.)
Some resources are non-renewable - they are not replaced faster than we use them e.g. fossil fuels (coal and oil) and rocks (used to make metals, or precious gemstones).

Wind turbines turn in the (renewable) wind to make electricity.
Students first design a device that turns when they blow on it.
Students build a wind spinner to understand the moving parts of a wind turbine.
It needs a part that allows it to spin, and a part that catches the wind (blade).

Wind turbines generate electricity via a generator (basically a backwards motor). We use this electricity in electric circuits, to light our house or to run electrical equipment.
Students make their own Electric circuits with wires, batteries and bulbs.

Once students have done both activities, demonstrate a wind turbine if possible, and review that a turbine turns the wind power into electricity.

Wind turbine videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQpbTTGe_gk (2.5 mins)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy9nj94xvKA (5 mins)

Grades taught
Gr 4
Gr 5
Gr 6
Gr 7