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This curriculum unit teaches students about their responsibility and potential as stewards of the Earth via a study of renewable energy with an emphasis on wind power.
The unit is written for a fifth/sixth grade class and can be modified to use in younger or older students. Though addressing local issues in New Mexico, environmental concerns in any region can be addressed though the methods in this unit.
The unit is conceived as a longitudinal project with most of it being completed in one quarter and some parts extending throughout the year. There are three major sections that overlap during the unit. Students will learn about energy, global warming, and renewable energy (emphasis on wind power), culminating in the construction of a wind turbine model. Student learning about energy issues and debate will underpin the second major part—presenting a case to waive county height restrictions for the construction wind turbine on the school campus. The third part of the unit concerns the weather and will continue throughout the year. Students will learn the fundamentals of weather and weather forecasting (e.g., patterns, fronts). Students will track and report the weather to the school each morning.
(Recommended for Science and Social Studies, grades 5-7.)
Number 16 of the periodical On Common Ground
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