Alaska Wind for Schools
Congratulations to Team Lightning for winning $50 in the Wind Turbine Design Challenge!
Three students who participated in ANSEP Middle School Clean Energy Academy in July are being presented with $50 for their wind turbine design. More than 50 students participated in the Academy and were broken into teams of three to each build a model wind turbine. Team Lightning members are Kenzie Long from Mountain Village, Lucienne Selanof from Valdez, and Thomas Oates from Anchorage. Information on their design can be seen here.
What is Alaska Wind for Schools?
Alaska Wind for Schools – teaching Alaska’s youth about sustainable energy
REAP is the State Facilitator for the Wind for Schools program in Alaska, and led the effort, along with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP), to have Alaska added in 2010 to the list of 11 states accepted to this national program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America program. The program aims to raise awareness about the benefits of wind energy while simultaneously developing a STEM and energy-related knowledge base in Alaska’s youth.
Alaska Wind for Schools provides teacher trainings, helps implement hands on-curricula, and holds a wind turbine design competition for students in grades 6-12 called the KidWind Challenge. Using wind energy as a keystone, students learn about energy science, energy sources, climate change, physics, mathematics, and energy.
In the past, the centerpiece of the Alaska Wind for Schools program has been helping schools install small turbines at their schools. From 2009 to 2012, seven Skytream 3.7 turbines were installed with assistance from Alaska Wind for Schools. The first Alaskan school to install a turbine was Sherrod Elementary in Palmer. Teachers and students capture data from the turbines and use it in a variety of classroom experiences and lessons.
Who can participate?
Starting in 2014, Alaska Wind for Schools is using a new model that focuses on Alaska communities that have established utility wind power system and works within those communities to develop relationships between schools and students and the renewable energy systems that are having a real-life impact in their lives.
REAP visits schools to bring Wind for Schools curriculum to 6-12 classrooms. During our visit we can:
- Facilitate wind for schools activities with teachers and students
- Provide the school with a wind experiment kit
- Travel to the community’s wind turbine site and/or arrange for a guest speaker
- Bring in real data from their wind turbines so that student can see how wind contributes to their community’s overall energy production
If you live in a community with a utility scale wind project, please contact us about how Alaska Wind for Schools can help you integrate wind energy education.
Alaska Wind for Schools also has resource for schools around the state, whether or not they have wind in their community. Many schools participate with curricula even though they do not have a turbine, and the program is working on ways for schools with turbines to share data with other schools around the state. Additionally, the KidWind Challenge is open to any middle or high school in Alaska. Please contact us for more information.
Alaska Wind for Schools turbine locations:
- Sherrod Elementary School, Palmer: Alaska’s first Wind for Schools turbine, a Skystream 3.7, installed in November 2009.
- Coast Guard, Juneau: The U.S. Coast Guard installed a Skystream 3.7 turbine at Station Juneau in October 2010. The Coast Guard Partnership in Education program is working with Wind for Schools and the Juneau School District to provide data from the turbines and educational opportunities for students to learn about wind energy.
- Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Sitka: Mt. Edgecumbe High School installed a Skystream 3.7 turbine at the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Maple Moorings facility, which is located next to Mt. Edgecumbe. The turbine was installed in December 2010 and was the second in Alaska for the Coast Guard and the third in the state for the Wind for Schools in Alaska program.
- Mat-Su College, Palmer: Mat-Su College installed a Skystream 3.7 turbine in the spring of 2011. The turbine is used by students in conjunction with the Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Renewable Energy program at the school.
- Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center (NACTEC), Nome: NACTEC installed a Skystream 3.7 turbine on October 15, 2011. In September 2011, students from the villages of Golovin, Koyuk, Nome, Shaktoolik, and Teller participated in a Renewable Energy Course and worked alongside Bering Straits Development Company construction workers to construct the tower foundation. In October, a second class of students helped install the turbine.
- Begich Middle School, Anchorage: After a two year process involving the first Wind for Schools municipal permitting scenario in the state, Begich Middle School installed their turbine in February 2012. The data is used in specific classroom lessons and is now on a display kiosk in the school entry way so the entire school can monitor the wind power being generated in their own backyard.
- Kodiak High School, Kodiak: After solving initial citizen concerns, the Kodiak Island Borough School District installed their Skystream 3.7 wind turbine in October 2012. The US Coast Guard is a partner in this installation as it has been in several other Alaska Wind for Schools projects. Kodiak Electric Association, a pioneer in renewable energy in Alaska, assisted with the installation as did several other local sponsors.
Kid Wind Challenge
It’s not too early to start thinking about the 2017 KidWind Challenge! You can submit an application to start a team at anytime. Download a teacher packet and learn more information here. Designs are submitted by March 30th. Each year the quality and ingenuity of the Alaskan students participating in the challenge grows. The KidWind Challenge Organizing Team is excited to see the innovative ideas our Alaskan students use to produce their wind turbines.
Who we are
Renewable Energy Alaska Project is a coalition of energy stakeholders working to facilitate the development of renewable energy in Alaska through collaboration, education, training, and advocacy.