Middle school and high school students in Illinois will soon learn all about wind energy as part of their daily school lessons. Six middle and high schools have been chosen from a statewide application process to participate in Illinois Wind for Schools (ILWFS), which is being put on by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs and the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University.
Through customized curriculum and lesson plans, students participating in the program learn about a variety of wind energy topics. Lab equipment is also provided for students to take part in hands-on wind-related activities. The purpose of the program is to engage Illinois school teachers and students in energy education, specifically targeting wind energy, according to program officials.
The wind energy curriculum includes lesson plans in five distinct areas: energy and electricity; wind and weather; turbines and engineering; environmental considerations and economics. Over the summer, each participating school will receive a classroom set of experimental model wind turbines, experimental weather balloons and a model wind tunnel. (fun!)
“We hope to educate students with the knowledge of wind energy principles, to position the next generation of career and technical professionals to enter the growing U.S. wind industry,” Matt Aldeman, senior energy analyst for the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University said in a statement. “We will also be able to provide technical assistance to Illinois school administrators on renewable energy integration in school facilities.”
The 2012-2013 ILWFS partner schools include: Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, Chicago Public Schools #299, Cook County; Southwestern Middle and High School, Southwestern Community Unit School District (CUSD) #9, Macoupin County; Riverview Grade School, Riverview Community Consolidated School District (CCSD) #2, Woodford County; Galva High School, Galva School District #224, Henry County; Astoria Junior High School, Astoria CUSD #1, Fulton County; and Plano High School, Plano CUSD #88, Kendall County.