Topic Progress:

The Lesson Plan – Wind Energy


Explain what makes a location appropriate for wind energy and identify on a map.

Mathematics – MAFS.6.RP.1.3
Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.

Big Idea(s)

Investigate the viability of wind energy. 

Essential Question

Can wind energy replace all other types of energy in certain parts of the world?


Background Information 

Wind, a powerful source of energy dating back to ancient times. The Egyptians used it to sail ships on the Nile River; however, today we use wind as a source to make electricity.  We use wind turbines to convert kinetic energy into mechanical power.  These turbines use windmill structures that have propellers.  The mechanical power created is then converted to electricity through a generator. Wind energy cannot be stored since wind is not always blowing ; therefore, you cannot rely on wind energy as your only source of power.

Additionally, many locations that are ideal for wind power are in remote areas of the country.  Being so remotely located makes it more expensive to get this energy into areas that can benefit from additional electrical resources, because you would have to build long transmission lines.

Guiding Questions

  • Can wind energy be a long-term solution and how dependent can we become on its use?

  • How is the energy in the wind captured?

  • How much power can a wind farm generate?

Math Mania

Essential Question:

Only 7.5% of the energy consumed in the US is renewable energy like wind, solar, biomass, hydropower and geothermal, and 40.8% of the energy consumed in the US is petroleum gas. 

What fraction of the total energy used in the US is renewable energy and what fraction is petroleum?

The correct response is  75/1000 or 3/40, and 408/1000 or 51/125

Fun Facts

Did you know…

  • Wind energy is harnessed by wind turbines which can be as high as 20 story buildings and have three blades which are 60 meters long (about 196 feet)?  They can reach speeds of 200 mph. 
  • Wind energy is renewable and a pollution free source of energy?
  • It is mostly used to generate electricity and is an abundant source of energy in many parts of the USA?
  • Wind energy has the largest renewable generation capacity of all renewable energy in the United States?

Inquiry Type

  • Structured Inquiry

  • Class/Group Activity

  • Experiment