Research Project Summary Information
School Power Naturally Explorations into Wind Energy (ST10984-1)
Pandion Systems, Inc.
Pandion Systems, Inc., based in Florida, with satellite offices in New York, is an ecological services company that also develops curricula and implements training programs for teachers on issues that range from ecology to invasive species management. They routinely conduct bird and bat impact assessments for wind energy facilities, including some projects in New York. KidWind, based in Minnesota, has a suite of lessons and activities on wind energy available for use by teachers nationwide. They have trained teachers in New York State about wind energy through a series of workshops sponsored by NYSERDA.
The goal was to develop a new curriculum on wind energy and to promote this curriculum through a substantial outreach program. Specific objectives included: 1) expand the current efforts by KidWind to offer Master Trainer workshops so teachers can become trained to instruct other teachers on how to use these materials with their students; 2) expand KidWind’s website capabilities to market and offer the new curriculum with links to the School Power...Naturally site. New features to the site include Webcasts, video, and interactive e-mail opportunities. 3) develop an outreach effort that includes teacher conferences, contact with local science coordinators, fliers and other print marketing materials, and links on websites popular with New York teachers; 4) provide incentives for teachers to be trained in using the new curriculum, including continuing education credit and stipends; and, 5) create new student-driven learning opportunities, such as a student wind turbine design challenge.
There is now a comprehensive curriculum package for middle and high school students, supplemental teaching materials, website, and a team of NYS teachers that can move wind education forward. In addition, there is a great interest from teachers and students statewide. This new curriculum represents the only comprehensive product of its kind available to New York students and significantly adds to the state’s educational offerings.
The project added to the suite of wind and solar lessons currently available on the School Power...Naturally website, www.SchoolPowerNaturally.org, and provided interested teachers with the tools to effectively instruct about energy issues, particularly wind. It also provided additional opportunities, such as student-driven experiments that further educate New York’s middle and high school students about wind energy. Teachers who currently use KidWind’s site will learn of the existing photovoltaic lessons on School Power... Naturally and acquire access to new wind energy lessons.
Fifteen lessons address generating energy from wind, including physics and meteorology, mathematical calculations for siting and engineering, how to measure impacts on bird and bat populations, and social debate associated with facility siting. Real world scenarios are used and, when possible, real data. Career profiles and case studies are provided. More than 400 educators were surveyed on current and predicted curriculum use, and perceived benefits/barriers to classroom use. An advisory board tested lessons, kits, and web materials, correlated activities to New York educational standards and National Science Standards, and recommended Regents exam questions.
More than 60 New York teachers applied for a week-long, intensive WindSenator training. Eight were chosen, making 14 WindSenators total in New York and 25 nationwide. WindSenators, provided with workshop materials, conducted 25 half- or full-day workshops for 692 teachers. Pre and post workshop evaluations were conducted. In ten KidWind Challenges, 1084 students designed and built wind turbines in the classroom according to competition specifications. Turbines were brought to the competition site and placed in a portable wind tunnel. Turbines with the best design and most powerful performance scores won. Fourteen conferences reached 1000s. Presentations, videos, links, and a place to share ideas or connect sponsors with schools are on www.windwiseeducation.org, where as of 2011, more than 1500 are registered users.
Pandion Systems, Inc.
102 NE 10th Avenue 1st Floor
Gainsville, FL 32601
Energy Power Supply
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Environment & Energy Res