Where is the Best Place to Locate a New Wind Farm?
1. Begin the class by asking students to respond to the following question to respond to in their journal: How would you determine the best place to locate a new wind farm?
2. Inform students that they will use My World GIS to examine wind speed and land use patterns in Pennsylvania to determine the best place to locate a new wind farm.
3. Distribute the Where is the Best Place to Locate a New Wind Farm? handout and investigation sheet to each student.
4. Use an LCD projector to display My World at the front of the room.
5. Instruct students to download the Wind Map.m3vz on to their computers.
NOTE: If the file downloads as an MPEG movie, instruct students to hold down the control key and click on the file (right click on a PC) at the same time and select Open With > My World GIS.
6. Have students open the Wind Map.m3vz file in My World GIS.
7. Show students how to read the wind speed and land use layers keys/legends. Show students how to turn the layers on (click on the small square at the right end of a layer) and off (click on the eye at the top right corner of a layer).
8. Have students do the activity and answer questions on their investigation sheets. Provide guidance to students.
9. Instruct students to analyze their completed Wind Farms Data Chart and the GIS map to answer the questions on their investigation sheets.
10. Review and discuss aloud student responses to key questions. Ask students if they have any questions about concepts covered in the lesson and respond to their questions. Have students close and not save the changes they made to the My World GIS file when they finish.
11. If students at the completion of the activity do not understand that ideal locations for wind farms include areas with good sustained wind speed, have land areas that include open, flat areas or hilly areas, and have minimal impact on the natural environment, modify instruction to ensure students understand this concept.
12. To provide closure to the wind energy section of the energy unit, have students reflect on what they have learned about wind energy. Here are some suggestions:
a) Have students revisit their concept map and add additional information to it.
b) Provide students with a reflective question to respond in their journals about wind energy.
For example: Name two things you learned about wind farms or How can wind be used to provide energy?
My World Handouts
My World GIS File
Wind Map (M3VZ)
My World Assessment Information
Where is the Best Place to Locate a New Wind Farm? Assessment (PDF / MS Word)
Web GIS Handouts
Web GIS Assessment Information
Teacher Resources/Content Support