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Change Is in the Wind

Student activity based on “Change Is in the Wind” article from Our Ohio magazine.

Academic Content Standard
(Science Grade: 6): Physical Sciences – Describe the motion of objects and the effects of forces on an object. Describe renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy and their management. Give examples of how technology affects the quality of life.

(Note: Key terms used from Ohio’s Academic Content Standards are in bold below).

Discussion points

  • Read the article about green energy and wind energy.
  • Discuss where we get electricity, used in our households. What is the source of that energy?
  • What is the subject of this article?
  • Define nonrenewable resources. (Fossil fuels originating from the sun and renew slowly over millions of years.)
  • What alternative does this article suggest for energy from nuclear or coal burning plants?
  • Define renewable resources. Why is wind energy called “green energy?
  • Why would farmers be interested in developing wind farms? (Sustainable energy, reduce costs, earn money)
  • How can electric energy be produced from wind?
  • What are the consequences (positives and negatives) from wind farming? Example: positive is cheap energy in the future; negative is expensive to start wind farming because of the equipment.
     

Hands on at Home

  • Take the first few paragraphs of the article and draw the “perfect cycle,” including the white gutters, basil, and fish tanks. In a circular fashion, use a picture to show how the rainwater waters the basil, drains into the tanks, waters the grass that feeds the ducks, etc. Does the cycle work? Is it complete?
  • In the “producing more than crops” section, use the article’s description to draw a prototype wind farm. How can farmers use this technology to earn a living?
  • According to the article, can farmers still use the land to farm crops or other products?
  • Define what the author means by “on the grid” and “off the grid.”
  • According to this article, is wind farming a solution to the energy concern? What are the constraints to wind farming in Ohio , if any? (capital output, wind availability, equipment availability)
     

Extensions

  • Locate Union County and Bowling Green on a map.  Why are these locations good places for wind farming?
  • Do an Internet search for “wind farms.” What did you find?
     

This student activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.