Wind for Schools
REAP works to improve energy literacy in Alaskan students through hands-on lessons and teacher trainings statewide. Alaska Wind for Schools, administered by REAP, teaches wind energy activities to students and teachers.
The Wind for Schools program is implemented in Alaska by the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP). Wind for Schools was launched in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Alaska is one of 11 states with a Wind for Schools program. Alaska Wind for Schools provides classroom visits, teacher training to help implement hands-on curricula, and holds a wind turbine design competition for students in grades 4-12 (KidWind). Additionally, some schools have installed small wind turbines (Skystream 3.7, capacity 2.4 kW) on-site as demonstration projects. These turbines are connected to the local electrical grids and output performance is available for use by any interested party, not limited to schools. There are currently 7 turbines throughout the state that were installed through the Wind for Schools program from 2009 to 2011. The current focus of AK Wind for Schools is outreach and education throughout the state.
KidWind season has kicked off! Are you interested in competing with your class of 4th through 12th graders in a nation wide competition? Want to help your students learn more about clean energy and concepts of engineering? KidWind might be for you! Alaska Wind for Schools is holding a KidWind Challenge on April 7th in Anchorage! A training is being offered on February 24th at UAA for teachers to learn more about wind energy and how to participate. There is also opportunity for educators to earn 1 continuing education credit through UAA PACE. This is open to any 4th-12th grade teacher who is interested in putting together a team of their students, and is free to enter! Teachers provide their own supplies and travel to and from the challenge, but there are some supplies available to teachers who participate in the February 24th training. Contact Colleen at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and save your spot in the class.
Watch a 30 minute recorded webinar here to learn more about KidWind, what it costs, what the requirements are, and how to get involved. You can also check out the KidWind Challenge Website here, and the REcharge Labs Online Challenge Website (that does the monthly online challenges) here.
There are 7 turbines in Alaska that were installed through Wind for Schools. You can check out their electricity output on OpenEI, and even compare to other wind turbines around the nation. Click here to explore.
Sherrod Elementary wind turbine in Palmer on Nov. 6, 2009 (Courtesy Jason Meyer/Alaska Center for Energy and Power)
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.