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Wind Power Challenge

Secondary, Middle

Description

The Wind Power resource is an exciting hands-on STEM challenge for students. The main goal of this lesson is to enable students to look at a problem faced by communities that don't have access to electricity, and to then make their own model of a simple wind turbine as a solution. Students learn how small scale wind turbines have changed people’s lives, as with a supply of electricity people are able to light their homes, their school and run small businesses.

Through engaging with the Wind power challenge, students will: 

  • gain practical experience to reinforce their learning around forces and electricity 
  • develop problem-solving, team working and presentation skills 
  • discover how STEM can help solve global issues and achieve the UN Global Goals
This lesson plan included videos, power point presentation, activity worksheets and prompt questions that gets students thinking beyond the information given. 

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Build models of renewable energy.
  • Consider the energy sources of a community.
  • Understanding how some countries are less fortunate.

Strengths

  • The needed materials are inexpensive and easy to access.
  • Students can create the model with minimal adult help and supervision.
  • Extended activities are provided

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Air and Aerodynamics
        • Evidence and Investigation
        • Matter and Energy: Understandings of the physical world are deepened through investigating matter and energy
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electrical Principles and Technologies
        • Knowledge and Employability Science: Electrical Principles and Technologies (Science and Technology Emphasis)
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues for Canadians: Economic Systems in Canada and the United
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10-4 (Knowledge and Employability Science): Understanding Energy Transfer Technologies
        • Science 14: Understanding Energy Transfer Technologies
      • Technological Education
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Natural Resources 1110
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7:The electromagnetic force produces both electricity and magnetism
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Electric current is the flow of electric charge.
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
    • Grade 9
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 1 Science: Nature of Electricity
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 6
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      • Social Studies
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        • World Cultures: World Issues
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      • Science
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        • Learning and Living Sustainably (STSE)
        • Science 10 Science for Sustainable Societies
        • Science 10 Science for Sustainable Societies: The Nature of Science
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues
    • Grade 9
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Electricity
    • Grade 9
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electrical Principles and Technologies
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues for Canadians: Economic Systems in Canada and the United
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10-4 (Knowledge and Employability Science): Understanding Energy Transfer Technologies
        • Science 14: Understanding Energy Transfer Technologies
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Electricity
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 6: World Issues
    • Grade 9
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Characteristics of Electricity
  • Nunavut
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Electricity
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electrical Principles and Technologies
        • Knowledge and Employability Science: Electrical Principles and Technologies (Science and Technology Emphasis)
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10-4 (Knowledge and Employability Science): Understanding Energy Transfer Technologies
        • Science 14: Understanding Energy Transfer Technologies
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Matter and Energy: Electrical Phenomena, Energy, and Devices
    • Grade 8
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      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Structures and Mechanisms: Systems in Action
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 6
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        • Electricity
      • Social Studies
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        • World Issues
    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Trade in the Global Community
  • Quebec
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science & Technology
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        • The Material World
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      • Science & Technology
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        • The Material World
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      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Applied Science & Technology: The Material World
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        • Science and Technology: The Material World
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Applied Science & Technology:The Material World
        • Applied Science & Technology:The Technological World
        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Material World
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        • Science & Technology: The Material World
        • Science & Technology: The Technological World
        • Science and the Environment: The Material World
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Physical Science: Understanding Electricity
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 6: Canada & Our Atlantic Neighbours -Resources and Wealth
    • Grade 7
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada and Its Pacific Neighbours and Northern Neighbours: Resources and Wealth
    • Grade 8
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Individual in Canadian Society: Resources & Wealth
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Physical Science: Characteristics of Electricity
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7:The electromagnetic force produces both electricity and magnetism
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Electric current is the flow of electric charge.

Themes Addressed

  • Energy (3)

    • Alternative Energy
    • Energy Generation
    • Energy Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

This lesson clearly states their philosophy on sustainable energy.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

Multiple applications of wind power solutions are introduced.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good

Students are exploring a possible solution instead of a problem. Complexity within the solution are presented for learner consideration.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Very Good
  • Students are acting as research scientists to create and investigate current alternatives to electricity.
  • There are multiple extension activities included with the lesson.
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Satisfactory

The questions asked of the students provide some opportunity for personal reflection.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

There is some empathy when talking about how some people don’t have access to electricity.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory

In order to test their wind turbine models they could go outdoors.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

This is a concrete lesson in which students are creating and testing a model.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

The lesson uses a combination of structured and guided inquiry. Students draw and annotate initial and final designs before testing their designs. 

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

The Wind power challenge can be used to deliver parts of the science, social studies, technology and maths curriculum.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

The challenge encourages students to be curious and experiment as lifelong learners. Inquiry-based learning naturally fits with STEM since it promotes critical thinking and innovation.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

The activity will appeal to a range of learning styles, strengths and groups.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good
  • The model making is completely experiential.
  • Being in, and using, the wind will help build connections to the out-of-doors.
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good

Students work in groups to complete the questions and build the model.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory

A feedback sheet is included at the end of the lesson 

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good

Opportunity for shared learning occurs during the experiment and discussion time. Prior to testing their designs, students present their model to the rest of the class reflecting on how well they worked together, problems they solved, etc.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Good

A case study is present when looking at the situation in Peru.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory

Extension ideas and links that are provided encourage looking at the solution from a broader perspective.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.