Wind for Schools Project

The U.S. Department of Energy funds the Wind for Schools project, which helps develop a future wind energy workforce by encouraging students at higher education institutions to join Wind Application Centers and serve as project consultants for small wind turbine installations at rural elementary and secondary schools.

The Wind for Schools project goals are to:

  • Improve wind energy workforce development through wind-focused deployment and educational activities
  • Introduce teachers and students to wind energy
  • Equip college juniors and seniors with an education in wind energy applications
  • Engage America’s communities in wind energy applications, benefits, and challenges.

More than 145 systems have been installed at host schools across 12 states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Virginia. (See an interactive map of Wind for Schools turbine locations.) At the university level, dozens of students have graduated after being involved in the Wind Application Centers.

Providing educational opportunities at the primary and secondary levels is crucial to the project’s aim of developing a workforce for the future. Teacher training and hands-on curricula are implemented at each K-12 host school to bring the wind turbine into the classroom through interactive and interschool research tasks, engaging young people interested in science.

The Wind for Schools project works closely with the KidWind Project and the National Energy Education Development Project to provide hands-on, interactive curricula that are supported through teacher training workshops in each of the states. More information about these and other curricula can be found in the Wind for Schools Project Curriculum Brief. The project has also provided teacher training science kits for use in the classroom, as well as links to additional teaching materials.

At the university level, the project aims to educate college students in wind energy applications with a focus on hands-on small wind project development through classes and field work. The Wind Application Centers develop and share curricula, with each institution focusing on technical areas that are the strengths of the respective professors and institutions.

Getting Started with Wind for Schools

Several steps are needed to make your school part of the Wind for Schools project.

  • Identify a champion
  • Select sites with good wind resources
  • Be flexible with your project model
  • Choose partners in the community
  • Research economic options and challenges
  • Be aware of local and state policies
  • Evaluate the wind system.

To learn more about these steps and get more information on joining the project, visit the Getting Started page.

Wind for Schools’ Wind Energy System

Education, not energy production, has been the primary driver of the standard Wind for Schools turbine installations. Most of the installed systems have been 1.8-kilowatt wind turbines. More information on the wind for school system can be found in the Wind for Schools Project Power System Brief.

Participants, Affiliates, and Funding

Learn more about the participants in the Wind for Schools project, as well as affiliate projects and funding sources.

Participant Roles and Responsibilities

This section describes the roles and responsibilities of project participants.

Affiliate Projects

Through the Wind for Schools affiliate projects, individual K-12 schools or even states can use the Wind for Schools methodology and project materials to implement activities locally.

Project Funding

Although securing project funding can be challenging, dozens of schools have succeeded. Read examples of successful funding methods for Wind for Schools projects.