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Power, Energy, Dynamics- Wind Turbines


As a high school Physics teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you in teaching about power, energy, and dynamics through the design and function of a wind turbine.

This lesson plan will help you teach various Physics concepts such as power, energy, and dynamics through the working of a wind turbine. In the context of global warming due to carbon emissions, wind power is a renewable and clean source of energy that can be harnessed as electricity by wind turbines. Thus, this lesson plan will enable the students to apply the concepts of energy, electrical energy, and power in a real-world scenario.

Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Physics.

Curriculum Code (Australia) ACSPH037: Electrical circuits enable electrical energy to be transferred efficiently over large distances and transformed into a range of other useful forms of energy including thermal and kinetic energy, and light. ACSPH039: Energy is conserved in the energy transfers and transformations that occur in an electrical circuit. ACSPH042: Power is the rate at which energy is transformed by a circuit component; power enables quantitative analysis of energy transformations in the circuit. ACSPH065: Energy is conserved in isolated systems and is transferred from one object to another when a force is applied over a distance; this causes work to be done and changes to kinetic and/or potential energy of objects.
Cross Curriculum Priority (Australia) Sustainability
Presumed Knowledge (Australia)
  • Kinetic energy (ACSPH065).
  • Conservation of energy (ACSPH039).
  • Electrical energy and power (ACSPH037).
  • Rate of energy and power (ACSPH042).

Learning Outcome

The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:

  1. Apply the concepts of conservation of energy, electrical energy, and power together in a meaningful way.
  2. Explain the advantages and challenges of producing electricity from a wind turbine.
  3. Learn the physics of wind power.
  4. Compute the energy available from wind as a renewable and clean source of energy.
  5. Solve real-world problems in the context of climate change.

This is a lesson plan developed by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (CLEX) and the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub (MCCCRH) with contributions by Troy Garrett (Winmalee High School); Dr Sanaa Hobeichi and Dr Ian Macadam (CLEX); Tahnee Burgess and Dr David Holmes (MCCCRH); and Dr. Roger Dargaville (Monash University). The lesson plan originated at the “Climate across the Curriculum: Educational Resources for Teachers” workshop at the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) conference held in February 2020 in Fremantle, Western Australia. The workshop was supported by AMOS, CLEX, MCCCRH, the Schools Weather and Air Quality (SWAQ) Citizen Science project, TROP ICSU and the University of Western Australia. A version of the lesson plan tailored for use in Australian classrooms is available.

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Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s), apart from 4 and 13


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