The benefits and challenges of wind energy

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1 Lesson Overview The benefits and challenges of wind energy In this lesson, students will evaluate the potential of wind energy in terms of its benefits and challenges. Students will use critical thinking skills to consider the pros and cons of wind energy and appraise it as a renewable energy source. Grade Level Grades 9-12 (secondary school) - this lesson may be modified for use with Middle School students (grade 6-8) Time Required Two 60 minute lessons Curriculum Connection (Province/Territory and course) British Columbia Geography 12 Resources of the Earth (Nature, Management and Sustainability of Resources) Link to the Canadian Atlas Online (CAOL) ndpower Additional Resources, Materials and Equipment Required Images from the CANWEA website at Student worksheet The Benefits and Challenges of Wind Energy Video clip entitled No Fuel Energy located on the CANWEA website at Facts from _windpower Fact sheets from Main Objective Students will define what is meant by wind energy and evaluate the benefits and challenges associated with this source of energy. Learning Outcomes By the end of the lesson, students will be able to: Define wind energy Explain the benefits of wind energy Explain the drawbacks associated with wind energy production Discuss the objections made against wind energy Critically evaluate wind energy as an alternative energy source for today and tomorrow.

2 The Lesson The Lesson Teacher Activity Introduction Download and print off images of wind turbines and wind farms from the Image Gallery in the Media Centre on the CANWEA website at php. Place students in pairs and provide each pair with one image and with one student worksheet entitled The Benefits and Challenges of Wind Energy. Ask students to think, pair and share the following (use the brainstorm area on the worksheet): What type of energy source does the image show? Explain one advantage of the type of energy source shown in the image. Explain one disadvantage of the type of energy source shown in the image. Student Activity Using the image provided by your teacher, identify the energy source shown and explain one advantage and one disadvantage of the energy source shown. Write your ideas on the brainstorm area of your worksheet entitled The Benefits and Challenges of Wind Energy. Pair up with a peer and share your thoughts. Be prepared to give feedback to the entire class. Lesson Development Invite students to share their ideas on what their image shows and the advantage and disadvantage they have identified. Briefly record answers on the board. Ensure that you introduce students to the terms wind turbine and wind farm. Instruct students to look and listen carefully as you show the video clip entitled No Fuel Energy located on the CANWEA website at p. Encourage students to write down some key facts from the video clip using the prompts provided on the worksheet. Share some facts about Wind Power from the Canadian Atlas Online at HINT: you may wish to take a few facts and make a simple PowerPoint for the class Give feedback to the class on what you have identified. Watch the video clip and write down key facts using the prompts on your worksheet. Share what you have learned from the clip with the peers in your class. How is the song on the video clip significant? From the facts presented by your teacher, write why wind energy is

3 The Lesson Teacher Activity Second Lesson Download and print off the fact sheets from Divide the class into groups of two students per group and give each group a fact sheet. From the fact sheet students need to identify the benefit and give it a title. Ask students to provide a brief explanation of how wind energy is a benefit. Once student groups have completed their synopsis of the benefits, provide each group with an opportunity to inform the rest of the class about the benefit they have identified. Now focus on the challenges of wind energy. Ask the students to focus on each challenge outlined in the worksheet. For each challenge identified, ask students to suggest a solution or a counter-argument to the issue that has been raised. Students may work independently, in pairs or as a whole class (students may require help with this section). Moderate the feedback section of this part of the lesson. Student Activity important for Canada as a country. Second Lesson Read the fact sheet with your partner. Give your benefit a title and write down a brief explanation of the benefit of wind energy. Provide information on what your group has learned about your particular benefit. Write brief notes about each benefit in the table provided on your worksheet under Benefits and Challenges. For each challenge identified suggest a solution or counter-argument to the issue that has been raised.

4 The Lesson Teacher Activity Conclusion Critical thinking activity give students about 5 minutes to consider whether the benefits of wind energy outweigh the challenges. Instruct students to write a brief paragraph evaluating wind energy as a viable renewable source of energy to meet energy demands for the future (may be completed for homework). Student Activity Complete the critical thinking activity on your worksheet Use what you have learned about wind energy to justify your answer. Assessment of Student Learning Assess the paragraphs written by students. Students must provide a critical evaluation of wind energy and justify their conclusion. Link to Canadian National Standards for Geography Essential Elements 5. Environment and Society Global effects of human modification of the physical environment Use and sustainability of resources Environmental issues 6. The Uses of Geography Local, regional, and world policies and problems with spatial dimensions Geographic Skills 1. Asking geographic questions Plan and organize a geographic research project (e.g. specify a problem, pose a research question or hypothesis and identify data sources). 2. Acquiring geographic information Systematically locate and gather geographic information from a variety of primary and secondary sources. Systematically assess the value and use of geographic information. 3. Organizing geographic information Select and design appropriate forms of graphs, diagrams, tables and charts to organize geographic information. Use a variety of media to develop and organize integrated summaries of geographic information. 4. Analyzing geographic information Use the processes of analysis, synthesis, evaluation and explanation to interpret geographic information from a variety of sources. 5. Answering geographic questions Evaluate the answers to geographic questions.

5 STUDENT ACTIVITY WORKSHEETS The Benefits and Challenges of Wind Energy Part A: Introduction Brainstorm What do you see in the image? Explain one advantage of the energy source shown in the image. Explain one disadvantage of the energy source shown in the image. Record your peers answers in the table below: Advantages Disadvantages

6 Video Clip No Fuel Energy The world is facing an energy crisis. What is this energy crisis that the world is facing? Wind is How is the world changing? Wind - the no fuel energy- has NO What can wind energy do for our world? The Importance of Wind Energy to Canada

7 Part B Benefits and Challenges Benefit Explanation

8 Challenges Facing Wind Energy Challenge Solution or Counter-argument Wind farms are noisy and may affect the health of area residents adversely. Wind turbine blades kill birds and bats and affect migration paths; therefore they are not environmentally friendly. Wind energy is unreliable and inconsistent. Wind turbines are expensive to manufacture and construct, making wind energy very expensive. Wind turbines and farms are ugly. Wind energy is inefficient. Critical Thinking ~ Activity Is wind energy one of the solutions to the global energy and climate change crises? Based on what you have learned about wind energy, evaluate its usefulness as an energy source for today and tomorrow. Justify your answer.

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