U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • Printable Version
  • Bookmark and Share

Wind for Schools Project

From 2005 to 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy funded the Wind for Schools project, which helped develop a future wind energy workforce by engaging 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. Teacher training and hands-on curricula were 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.

Students at the host schools continue to learn about wind energy through hands-on learning activities. Learn about the elements of the Wind for Schools project.

Wind for Schools Data

Visit the OpenEI Wind for Schools Portal to access data from turbines at U.S. schools, such as:

  • Kilowatt-hours produced
  • Utility dollars saved
  • Average kilowatt-hours per year and month.

You can also compare the performance of turbines at different locations and find educational resources.

  • Wind for Schools projects were supported in 11 states (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Virginia)
  • More than 134 systems were installed at host schools. See a list of school wind projects, including schools that did not participate in the Wind for Schools project
  • At the university level, dozens of students graduated with active involvement in the Wind Application Centers.

The Wind for Schools project goals were to:

  • Equip college juniors and seniors with an education in wind energy applications
  • Engage America's communities in wind energy applications, benefits, and challenges
  • Introduce teachers and students to wind energy.

Wind Energy Curricula

A photo of school busses circling at the base of the wind turbine.

The dedication of the 900-kW Americas Wind Energy wind turbine installed in Wray, Colorado by the Wray School District RD-2. February 2008.

Through the Wind for Schools project, curricula were developed and implemented at the university and K-12 levels.

At the university level, the project aimed 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 developed and shared curricula, with each institution focusing on technical areas that are the strengths of the respective professors and institutions.

Providing educational opportunities at the primary and secondary level was crucial to the project's aim of developing a workforce for the future. The Wind for Schools project sponsored the National Energy Education Development Project and the KidWind 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 also provided teacher training science kits for use in the classroom, and the initiative provides links to additional teaching materials.

Wind Energy System

With education as the primary driver, the standard Wind for Schools system consisted of a SkyStream 3.7, 2.4-kilowatt wind turbine on a 70-foot guyed or 60-foot monopole tower. 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 Wind for Schools project.

  • Participant Roles and Responsibilities

    This section describes the roles and responsibilities of previous project participants.

  • Affiliate Projects

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

  • Project Funding

    Although securing project funding in today's economy can be challenging, dozens of schools succeeded. Read examples of successful funding methods for prior Wind for Schools projects.


What is happening in my area?

Stay Updated

Sign up for our e-newsletter.