Steps To Becoming A Wind For Schools Partner School
Installing a Wind Turbine
Letter of interest
Send a letter of interest to Karin Wadsack. Provide your school name and district, and make sure the letter is signed by either the principal or superintendent, and at least two teachers at the school who are interested in using wind energy activities in their classrooms. Let us know how this program will help your students and other students in your district, and whether you can help organize a teachers’ workshop for your region.
School visit and presentation
We will coordinate a presentation at your school about the Wind for Schools program, including the tasks and costs involved in the process, and the academic opportunities that your school will have through this program. You may invite any interested parties to this presentation, including parents, school board members, and the community.
A Skystream small wind turbine installation costs $15,000 - $20,000. The Wind for Schools program will assist you with the fundraising process, but ultimately this is up to you. Installations may take place with donated labor, materials, and funds from many school supporters.
In order to install a small wind turbine (which connects into the electricity grid) your school will need to obtain permission from the electric utility in the form of an Interconnect Agreement. You may also need to obtain a building or conditional use permit from the City or County government, which can take several months. Wind for Schools staff can assist you with assembling the permit application documents.
Once you have raised the money and ordered the components and materials, the wind turbine installation is relatively straightforward. Either the Wind for Schools trained staff or a licensed dealer/installer from your area must supervise this process. Performing the actual wind turbine installation takes very little time – a day or two to excavate and pour the foundation, and a day to put up the turbine. The foundation has to cure for 28 days before the turbine can be set up. The process involves:
- Excavation & pouring the foundation,
- Waiting 28 days for the foundation to cure,
- Trenching to the building’s electrical hook-up,
- Laying conduit and wiring,
- Assembling the turbine and assembling the tower,
- Attaching the turbine to the tower,
- Tilting up the tower and securing it to the foundation,
- Testing the system and turning it on!
Access to materials
When the Wind for Schools representative visits your school, you will be provided with information on accessing curriculum materials free of charge, and you can begin implementing wind energy activities in your classroom right away. These materials are available for you to download from KidWind (kidwind.org) and the NEED Project (need.org).
Wind for Schools staff can provide a mini-workshop with just the teachers at your school. This can take place prior to, or simultaneous with, the installation of your wind turbine, depending on the circumstances. During this mini-workshop we’ll go over a couple lessons, answer your questions, go over the different types of kits and materials that you can use for teaching about wind energy, and show you how to access more lessons.
Full Teachers’ Workshops
Several times per year, the Wind for Schools program holds half-day or full-day teachers’ workshops, during which you can earn continuing education credits, obtain wind turbine kits, perform several lessons in your grade level and subject matter, and get more resources from the instructor and other teachers. We can hold wind education workshops in conjunction with other energy-related topics or in conjunction with a wind turbine design challenge. The best way to get a workshop to take place in your area is to help organize it!
Ten ways to get involved
See our list of ten different ways you can implement academic activities about wind energy at your school. Pick two and we’ll help you get started!
- Weekly lessons
- Wind Intensive week
- Science of Energy week
- Wind turbine design challenge
- Power of the Wind after-school club
- Wind for Schools essay contest
- Student Wind Energy Conference
- NEED Project Youth Award for Energy Achievement
- WindWise Grade 6-12 Curriculum
- Energy science fair
For more information about the Wind for Schools program, contact Karin Wadsack, State Facilitator, at 928-523-0715 or Karin.Wadsack@nau.edu.