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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Scale Models and Wind Turbines

Lesson Description:
As wind turbines and wind farms become larger to take advantage of the economies of scale and increased wind speeds at higher altitudes, Their impact in the locales where they are sited becomes more dramatic. One place this is especially contentious is in the offshore environment of the northeast. This lesson explores scale models and the issues surrounding models and their accuracy when developing a large wind farm. Worksheets are included.
Lesson Type:
  • Other

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy
  • Green Building

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Building Program

Time Needed:
1-2 class periods
Standards Addressed:
National Standards: 5-8
  • INT-A: 1.D. Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
  • INT-A: 1.H. Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
  • INT-E: 2.F. Perfectly designed solutions do not exist. all technological solutions have trade-offs, such as safety, cost, efficiency, and appearance. risk is part of living in a highly technological world. reducing risk often results in new technology.

National Standards: 9-12
  • SEC-A: 2.D. Mathematics is essential in scientific inquiry.
  • SEC-F: 6.C. Individuals and society must decide on proposals involving new research and the introduction of new technologies into society.

Materials Needed:
  • Handouts included
  • 5-10 model turbines (or you can use pictures that that you make)
  • cardboard green blue and brown paint 
  • meter sticks 
  • 100m Tape Measure 
  • Images of Turbines
  • Readings about Cape Wind and other offshore and onshore siting debates for wind farms 
  • Student Worksheet 
  • A number of scale model items: Ken, Barbie or other dolls of varying size, model airplanes, matchbox cars and model cars of maps at different scale 

School or Group:
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf wind_scalemodelturbines.pdf
Located in: Math

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