Wind Turbine Design focuses on Earth’s renewable and non-renewable resources. Students take part in a conversation about the renewable energy scene in Australia today and where it is headed in the future. The relationships between Renewable Energy, the Greenhouse Effect, Climate Change and Global Warming are also discussed.
Students participate in the Wind Turbine Challenge, an exciting hands-on activity investigating how wind turbine designs can cause a turbine to rotate faster with less force or rotate slowly with more force, depending on the number of blades, size of blades and blade pitch. Students use fair testing methods to discover how to lift a heavy mass with their turbine. They also discover how to design a turbine that can efficiently generate enough electricity to power a water pump. The challenge often turns into a competition with budding scientists trying to outsmart each other with better designs!
The students then travel to a large scale wind farm on the outskirts of Ballarat where local wind energy experts guide them through the wind farm’s day-to-day operations. Each student gets the unique opportunity to walk inside a fully-operational 1.5MW wind turbine. The students have plenty of opportunities to ask the local wind experts lots of interesting questions about wind energy.
Key Learning Outcomes:
- Identify the difference between Renewable and Non-Renewable energy resources
- Identify the renewable energy status of Australia and Victoria and the need to move towards renewable technologies.
- Conduct fair tests by learning how to measure and control variables
- Understand the key principles behind wind turbine design.
- Understand that wind turbines can be designed to spin faster with less torque or spin slowly with more torque, depending on the number of blades, size of blades and blade pitch
- Evaluate their experiments and explain their results.
Learning Standards (Australian Curriculum):
Renewable Technologies demonstrates the learning addressed through Year 7 of the Australian curriculum standards. In particular, it addresses:
- Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable
Science as a human endeavour
- Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations
Science inquiry skills
- Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge
- In fair tests, measure and control variables, and select equipment to collect data with accuracy appropriate to the task