The student will learn about wind turbines, how they work, and how they can be optimized. The student will learn how digital control can support optimization of wind turbines.
Materials for the lesson (robots, program, background material/newspaper articles relevant to the subject, instructional videos or other resources):
Students will need:
- Fable robot (joint module)
- LEGO connector
- Laptop PC and Fable program
- Small electric wind turbine
- LEGO to build the wind turbine on Fable
- Wind meter
- Material about wind energy
- Material about renewable energy
Start with a class discussion about renewable energy and the different types that exist. Relate this to real-world contexts where students see energy being harnessed, e.g. in the form of wind turbines, solar panels or solar thermal collectors.
The learning objectives are presented to the class and written on the board so that they remain visible to the students during their work.
The class is divided into groups of 2-4.
It is possible to divide the class so that half works with wind turbines and the other half works with solar cells (see separate lesson).
Students are introduced to Fable.
Students do research on their topic, find relevant information about the construction of wind turbines and the optimal conditions for their operation. Using this information, the group now designs Fable to best fulfil these conditions. Students must have arguments to support their decisions.
Fable must now be programmed to make the wind turbine utilize the wind optimally. To do so, students must be able to explain what is required to best harness the wind.
At the end, groups can briefly describe how they built and programmed Fable and give reasons for their choices.
Instruction may be differentiated in several ways
- The amount of guidance provided can vary among the different groups.
- Some groups can work more in-depth with programming.
- Tasks can be differentiated if it becomes clear that a group does not have time to complete them all.