Variables Affecting Wind Turbine Power (Lesson 5)

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Craig Marais
Intended Grade Level(s):
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours
Learning Goal(s):

• Students will be able to identify and explain at least three variables that affect the efficiency of wind turbines • Students will conduct a scientific investigation to determine which wind turbine configuration will generate the most power

Relevant Common Core Standard(s):
Relevant NGSS PE:

Now that students are familiar with how mechanical electricity generation works, they will build a wind turbine powered by a box fan. Different teams will test different turbine variables to see how the amount of electrical power is affected. After each team completes testing their chosen variable, the highest wind turbine configurations from each team will tested against one another. The turbine that generates the most power from this lesson will then compete with a photovoltaic cell of approximately equivalent cost to see whether wind or solar is the most economical (in the next lesson). 

Science Kit Material(s) Used

Advanced Wind Turbine Kit

Other Material(s) Used

Paper handouts

Thumbnail Image

US DOE WInd Turbines