Wind for Schools Name

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Wind for Schools Name: _______________________

Why It Matters

How is your school powered? How about capturing the wind’s energy?

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America sponsors a program called Wind for Schools in which various schools across the nation install wind turbines on their campuses!


Are there any schools near you that are participating in this program?


Explore More

1. While we can have windy days all over the world, some areas are naturally more prone to have higher wind speeds caused by factors such as air pressure gradients and local weather conditions. Below you will see two maps. The first map identifies potentially where the highest winds would be located in the United States. The second map identifies how much wind energy is captured throughout the United States. Use the following two maps to answer the questions below:

-Where would you expect to see the fastest wind speeds?

-What states have the most wind energy production currently?

-If you were advising the U.S. Department of Energy, where would you recommend that they build more wind turbines? Why?

Wind Resource Map

2. The University of Minnesota filmed the construction of their wind turbine and created this time lapse video:

How do they work?


25 Years Later

On March 24, 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, and spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine Alaskan waters. Cleanup was intense but 25 years later the region has not entirely recovered.

News You Can Use

The oil covered 1,000 miles of coastline and killed hundreds of thousands of animals.

Trained and untrained workers, including many volunteers, flocked to the region to clean animals and beaches.

Eventually the news cameras left, but that doesn’t mean that the affected region has recovered. Twenty-five years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the area is still polluted.

Explore More

Different organisms recovered at different times after the spill - some organisms are not recovering, and no one knows when or if they will

With the links below, learn more about the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Then answer the following questions.

  • Voice of America, Exxon Valdez spill 25 year anniversary (video):

  • The Atlantic, The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: 25 Years Ago Today (article and 39 photos):

  1. What techniques were used to try to lessen the damage from the oil spill in 1989?

  1. What was found in 2014 on beaches that had been oiled in 1989?

  1. What good has come in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill?

  1. What argument do environmentalists make that drilling for oil should not happen in the Arctic?

  1. What punishment did the captain of the Exxon Valdez suffer? Do most people think that this was enough? Do you?

  1. Why do you think river otter populations recovered faster than sea otter populations? Why did bald eagles do better than pigeon guillemots? Are there some general rules you can figure out for what recovered better in the article above? Why?

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