Global climate change and dwindling fossil fuel resources have amplified the need to develop clean energy resources. In response to these challenges wind energy development has been exploding all over the world. In many Canadian provinces, particularly the Yukon, Alberta and Ontario, the installed wind capacity has been growing at close to 30% per year since 2004. This is mainly due to aggressive federal incentives and the increasing reliability of wind turbines and infrastructure. Canada’s current installed capacity of wind power is 1,856 MW – enough to power close to 560,000 Canadian homes.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association's (CANWEA) goal is for 10,000 MW of installed wind energy in Canada by the year 2010, enough to supply 5% of Canada's electricity needs. Active engagement with students and teachers will be vital to supporting this ambitious goal. Working with educators is one important path to improving the public understanding of the opportunities and the limits of wind energy.
For the last four years the KidWind Project has developed hands-on educational kits to help teachers and students understand the science, technology and engineering of wind power. Through a variety of tools, lessons and materials we have been helping students and teachers gain a better understanding of wind energy science while addressing important educational standards. The KidWind Project has also been engaged with teacher training programs at a variety of school districts. These programs offer teachers the opportunity and space to see how these tools can fit into an engaging renewable energy curriculum at a variety of levels.
Kidwind has recently joined partners with Kidder to distribute our educational products and programs to schools and individuals within Canada. We encourage you to see what we offer at www.kidder.ca and see how we can help you teach about wind power in your science or technology classroom.