Wind Energy Education
Wind energy education at all levels is critical to developing a clean energy economy and future workforce. Programs such as the KidWind Challenge and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition help generate interest and enthusiasm in wind energy. Resources such as the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Energy Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project’s teacher training workshops, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind for Schools Portal, and energy lesson plans assist educators who wish to integrate wind energy into lesson plans. Building a knowledge base is important for students wishing to pursue careers in wind and also helps to foster the continued growth of wind energy.
University for Wind Energy
University-level wind energy education and training includes various training and research centers at colleges and universities. The following organizations also support university-level energy education:
Focus the Nation believes that all Americans share an obligation to transform the way we power our communities and our lives and that young leaders are uniquely positioned to further this cause. All Focus the Nation programming focuses on empowering young people’s imaginative, civic, and systems-thinking capacities so they can become powerful agents of change in their own communities. See a list of projects.
AASHE hosts conferences, webinars, and workshops on ways to promote campus sustainability while also offering career development to students interested in sustainability fields. AASHE developed the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) (PDF 1 MB), which higher education institutions can use to measure their progress toward sustainability and achieve recognition. It also offers an online resource center on everything related to campus sustainability, professional development training, annual awards, and informative publications and newsletters. The organization is engaged in long-term partnerships and coalitions relating to campus sustainability and environmental awareness.
The 4-H program is led by a unique public-private partnership of universities, federal and local government agencies, foundations, and professional associates. Partners work together to provide educational content, curricula, resources, and cutting-edge technology to youth across the country.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition challenges undergraduate students from multiple disciplines to design, build, and test a wind turbine to perform according to a customized, market data-derived business plan; and to deliver formal presentations demonstrating their knowledge of key market drivers and deployment acceleration opportunities. The DOE Collegiate Wind Competition contests are designed to interest students from a variety of engineering and business programs, engaging them in a project—a complex task with no single solution, a test that inspires ingenuity—that provides real-world experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.
WindSTAR is an NSF-funded Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Wind Energy, Science, Technology and Research. A collaboration among UMass Lowell, University of Texas at Dallas, Iowa State University, Southern Maine Community College, Maine Wind Industry Initiative, and the KidWind Project, the center aims to bring together university and industry researchers to solve the pressing needs of the wind industry.
North American Wind Energy Academy
The North American Wind Energy Academy (NAWEA) is an organization of universities, research laboratories, and industry participants dedicated to coordinating wind energy research and education activities to advance wind energy technology and to develop the next generation of wind energy engineers, researchers, scientists, and innovators in North America.