Three weeks before Earth Day! Have you decided what you will be doing to live more sustainably? Understanding more about the energy around us can help. In class or at home, examine renewable energy sources and how we use energy with the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP).
Last week, we began our journey (link previous blog post here) by looking at our largest source of energy, the sun. Let’s focus our attention on another renewable energy resource: the wind. How can we use our senses to find where it’s blowing?
Where the wind blows
Wind occurs when the sun heats up the Earth’s surface. The surface is unevenly heated, meaning some areas are warmer than others. As the air temperature increases above these warm areas, the air rises and cool air takes its place. This cycle of moving air creates wind!
You can figure out where the wind is blowing by looking for evidence of wind energy. The four signs of energy are heat, light, sound and movement. If we are standing outside trying to find evidence of wind, we will feel the cool or warm air hit our skin, hear the wind rustle through leaves, or see our hair move in the wind. To figure out where or in what direction the wind is blowing, look for leaves being blown around, plants moving, and other signs of movement.
Why does this matter?
Wind doesn’t only cool us down or move things. Wind energy can do work for us! If you air dry your clothes, you can hang your clothes outside and the wind can help speed up the drying process. The wind can also create beautiful music for us by blowing against windchimes.
Wind is a renewable energy resource. We can harness the wind to create electricity. Have you ever seen a wind turbine?
Knowing where the wind is blowing will help us determine where to put turbines to efficiently harness the wind’s energy.
Even if there are not wind turbines in your area, there are plenty of ways we still use the wind. What are some other reasons we want to know where the wind is blowing?
It’s your turn!
Discover how to follow the wind using bubbles with the second video in KEEP’s Exploring Energy Outdoors Series.
Take some time today to look for ways you use energy around your household. What are ways you can decrease your energy consumption? Check out this week’s sustainability focus ideas below!
- Adjust the layers you are wearing in instead of adjusting your thermostat
- Use blinds to block or let in the sun to cool or warm the room
- Make sure your thermostat is set to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer during the day
Join KEEP next week as we continue to look at renewable energy resources and how we can use energy more sustainably as we get closer to Earth Day!
- BSF Activity Sheet - Wind in the World K-3.pdf (uwsp.edu)
- KEEP Activity - MappingWindintheClassroom.pdf (uwsp.edu)
- Video - https://youtu.be/Z6R7WBYOKo8
Don't forget to share your student's results on social media by including the hashtag #EarthDayPledge as well as tagging Focus on Energy and KEEP to receive a FREE seedling to plant.
Learn more at www.keepprogram.org