Showing posts with label wind turbines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wind turbines. Show all posts

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Electric Lessons - Energy 101

The ski mountain that is about ten miles down the road from where I live has a large array of solar panels. Their goal is to use as much renewable energy as possible. To that end, another solar array is being constructed about a mile down the road. I noticed the progress earlier this week when I drove past it. That got me thinking about how many solar panels will be needed and it prompted me to look in my archives for some resources for teaching about how electricity is generated. Here are a few that I picked out. 

How Do Solar Panels Work? is a TED-Ed lesson that covers the basics of what solar panels are made of and how electricity is generated from them. The video also delves into some of the political and societal barriers to solar panel installation and solar array developments. 

How Do Wind Turbines Work? is a TED-ED lesson that covers the basics of how wind turbines harness the power of wind to generate electricity. The basic math of wind turbine design is also explained to viewers of the video. Overall, it's a fine lesson but not the most detailed of lessons.

Energy Now News is a YouTube channel featuring videos about energy in the news and educational videos about electricity. Energy 101: Electricity Generation covers the process of producing electricity and getting it to homes and businesses.

Idaho Power offers a short video overview of how hydroelectric dams generate electricity and the process of getting that electricity from a dam to a house. Before you show this video to your students, it might be worth pointing out to them who produced and why they produced it. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

DIY Wind Turbines and How They Work

Earlier this week TED-Ed published a new lesson titled How Do Wind Turbines Work? The video covers the basics of how the turbines harness the power of wind to generate electricity. The basic math of wind turbine design is also explained to viewers of the video. Overall, it's a fine lesson but not the most detailed of lessons. If you want students to learn more about how wind turbines work, consider having them build their own small wind turbines. 

Microsoft's Hacking STEM website offers a detailed project guide for building model windmills and wind turbines. Not only will students build the windmills, they'll also capture data generated by their windmills. The data is captured in real-time through the use of Arduino and the Data Streamer add-in for Excel. Students then analyze the data to evaluate the effectiveness of their windmill and wind turbine designs. 

Microsoft's Hacking STEM windmill activity is great if you have the time and resources required to do it. If you don't and you'd like a little less in-depth windmill project, take a look at Instructables. There you will find dozens of windmill and wind turbine projects ranging from relatively simple cardboard creations to full-fledged turbines capable of powering appliances. 

Finally, if you haven't seen the TED video of William Kamkwamba sharing his story of building a windmill, you need to watch it. It's the basis of the book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind





This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. Featured image taken by Richard Byrne while driving between Amarillo and Abilene, Texas in June, 2016.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Learn Engineering - Dozens of Short Lessons About Machines and More

Learning Engineering is a nice website offering dozens of short video lessons about machines, materials, and energy. The site is organized into three primary sections; electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering. Within each category you will find sub-categories and topics for further exploration. Each topic is explained with a video along with a set of diagrams and text explanations. Check out the wind turbine video and diagrams to get a sense of what Learn Engineering is all about.


Applications for Education
The videos on Learn Engineering a bit dry, but they are clear. The combination of the videos with diagrams makes Learn Engineering a good resource for students to use as review materials after a lesson that you have taught.