Wind for Schools Project
As the United States dramatically expands wind energy deployment, the industry is challenged with developing a skilled workforce and addressing public resistance. To address these issues, Wind Powering America launched the Wind for Schools project in 2005 by conducting a pilot project in Colorado that resulted in one small wind turbine installation in Walsenburg. By the end of 2012:
- Wind for Schools projects are supported in 11 states (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Virginia)
- More than 120 systems have been installed at host schools. See a list of school wind projects, including schools not participating in the Wind for Schools project
- At the university level, dozens of students graduated in 2012 with active involvement in the Wind Application Centers.
The Wind for Schools project goals are to:
- Equip college juniors and seniors with an education in wind energy applications
- Engage America's communities in wind energy applications, benefits, and challenges
- Introduce teachers and students to wind energy.
The general approach of the Wind for Schools project is to install small wind turbines at rural elementary and secondary host schools while developing Wind Application Centers at higher education institutions. Teacher training and hands-on curricula are implemented at each host school to bring the wind turbine into the classroom through interactive and interschool wind-related research tasks. The students at the Wind Application Centers act as wind energy consultants. They assist in the assessment, design, and installation of the small wind systems at the host schools. They also participate in class work and other engineering projects in the wind energy field, preparing them to enter the wind workforce once they graduate.
Wind Energy Curricula
Through the Wind for Schools project, curricula are developed and implemented at the university and K-12 levels.
At the university level, the project aims to educate college students in wind energy applications with a focus on hands-on small wind project development through classes and field work. The Wind Application Centers develop and share curricula, with each institution focusing on technical areas that are the strengths of the respective professors and institutions.
Providing educational opportunities at the primary and secondary level is also crucial to the project's aim of developing a workforce for the future. The Wind for Schools project sponsors the National Energy Education Development Project and the KidWind Project to provide hands-on, interactive curricula that are supported through teacher training workshops in each of the states. More information about curricula can be found in the Wind for Schools Project Curriculum Brief. The project also provides teacher training science kits for use in the classroom. In addition, Wind Powering America provides links to additional teaching materials.
Wind Energy System
With education as the primary driver, the standard Wind for Schools system consists of a SkyStream 3.7, 2.4-kilowatt wind turbine on a 70-foot guyed or 60-foot monopole tower. More information on the wind for school system can be found in the Wind for Schools Project Power System Brief.
Participants, Affiliates, and Funding
Learn more about the Wind for Schools project.
This section describes the roles and responsibilities of each project participant.
Although the Wind for Schools project is supported in a limited number of states, it is possible for other schools or even whole states to adopt the methodology and apply it locally. Through the Wind for Schools affiliate projects, K-12 schools or whole state-based projects can leverage existing materials to implement activities in their areas.
Although securing project funding in today's economy can be challenging, dozens of schools have succeeded. Read examples of successful funding methods for existing Wind for Schools projects.
May 6, 2013
December 12, 2012
June 30, 2010