"Wind with Miller" was developed for students
at the age of 12-14 years and up as the primary target group.
However, use is not restricted to schools. The web site is an
easy-to-read introduction to wind power. There are many possibilities
to plumb the depths with activities as well as a supplementary
'grown-up' web site consisting of about 200 pages dealing with
wind power at an upper secondary school level (US: high school).
Does It Work?
The starting point of the web site is the question "How
does it work?" The curiosity about how things and processes
in everyday life - in this case wind turbines - actually work,
can be a very useful driving force to learn more about technology
and natural science. Not necessarily because the students are
interested in the subjects, but if you focus on satisfying their
curiosity to understand and explain their surroundings, it is
hard to avoid learning some physics and mathematics in the process.
The web site provides the opportunity
to begin answering some of these questions, however, it is not
the intention that the web site should stand alone. The web site
provides the material for the students to learn for themselves
- using experiments, studies and measurements on small, self-built
wind turbines and through the use of extensive simulation tools
for large wind turbines.
The purpose of the web site is
not to educate junior engineers but to provide an insight into
how the machines and different gadgets of everyday life work
and how they are made. Most of the activities concerning aerodynamics
are just as relevant for aeroplanes, helicopters, sailboats,
wind turbines, and even ship propellers and water turbines.
on Physics and Technology
"Wind with Miller" focuses on the physics
and technology of wind power. In an introductory "Crash
Course" we go through the different components of a wind
turbine, their functions and elements of basic meteorology as
well as the necessary terminology.
After this you can choose freely
from a series of modules treating the function of the components
of the wind turbine as well as chapters on the installation of
wind turbines, how wind is created and how to find the best site
for the wind turbine (avoiding obstacles etc.).
Ways to Approach the Subject
The web pages of "Wind with Miller" abstain from dealing
with such issues as environment, pollution and other social
aspects. Instead we refer you to the web and other literature
on the subject mentioned in the teacher's guide. The primary
reason not to include these topics in the web site is that they
are more suitable for joint discussion in class. The web is not
capable of everything - when it comes down to it, a debate on
social values should be a dialogue between people, not with a
Assignments and activities in
the teacher's guide encourage interdisciplinary use of the web
site - for instance in subjects such as math, woodwork, English
and history, but also subjects not included on the timetable
like media and technology. The teacher's guide also encourages
the students' own research on the Internet through links in the
The web site "Wind with Miller" is part of the large
www.windpower.org web site, which exists in five languages. During
the summer of 2001 "Wind with Miller" will also be
translated to German, French and Spanish. This provides the possibility
to perhaps include the web site in language teaching.
The web site is not a text accompanied by illustrations,
as it is still the standard of most educational material on the
web. On the contrary, drawings and animations form the framework
of a series of short texts. Furthermore, because we value the
possibility to see the things in real life, we have included
several commented photo galleries in the web site.
The web site requires that the user her/himself is
active in the many short sequences. The text is presented in
short paragraphs so they remain synchronised with the drawings
and animations that appear on the screen. Therefore the content
is more extensive than the impression you get by counting the
pages, as a single page often consists of three to four steps.
The web site contains ideas for practical activities
as well as a virtual model of a wind turbine, which is built
up gradually in a process where the reader is given the opportunity
to experiment with the model. The model makes it possible to
calculate the production of a real, large wind turbine at different
wind speeds, the variation of the wind speed depending on the
height of the tower, and the roughness of the landscape. (The
model can also be used by upper secondary students).
The activity suggestions and the
virtual wind turbine model on the web site can be good starting
points for using the web site as a dictionary where one topic
is dealt with at a time instead of letting the students have
long reading sessions.
The teacher's guide and the activities kit are available
both on the web and as an Adobe Acrobat (pdf)
document, i.e. a printed full-size book with the right typography,
which can be downloaded from the web site. We recommend that
you download this publication, although the web edition has the
irrefutable advantage that it makes it easy to follow links to
relevant sites on the Internet. Therefore you will probably end
up using both editions in actual practice.
the moment, the teacher's guide is not fully developed, but it
will be regularly supplemented, especially with background information
for the activities on the web site.
assistance right on web:
Practically all the pages of Wind with Miller contain
a "More " button. The button gives access to an elaborating
treatment of the subject on more than 200 pages of in-depth articles
and calculators on www.windpower.org. This part of the web site
is written at a upper secondary school level, but without any
use of mathematics, as the technical curiosities are put in a
separate "Reference" Manual on the web site. The brightest
students - and the teachers - can find further inspiration here.
The web site www.windpower.org
has been given an award from the European Commission and The
European Wind Energy Association EWEA for having "set a
standard for high quality Internet information dissemination".
The web site is also available on CD-ROM (from June
2001), but the CD-ROM edition will rarely be as well updated
as the web edition. That is why it is an advantage to download
the site. On the other hand, the CD-ROM edition will also contain
a 28-minute video about wind power technology.
The web site has its own full text search engine, just like there
is a similar search engine for the entire web site of www.windpower.org.
The search engine only works online, but you can use the index
page when offline.
and telephone support
The Danish Wind Industry Association will answer technical
questions via e-mail
and provide assistance on the use of the web site over the phone.
The Danish Ministry of Education and the Danish Energy Agency
has financed the development of Wind with Miller together with
The Danish Wind Industry Association. The DWIA handles the running
and further development of the web site. The web site is non-commercial
and contains no advertising.
development: Web conference and show case?
If there is sufficient interest, the editors of the web site
- with the permission of the enquirers - will use the first e-mail
questions and propositions as the foundation for a web conference
The editors are also interested
in work sketches, project descriptions, activities, class reports,
photographs etc. for a showcase that can inspire teachers and
students worldwide. It is crucial that the material is sent electronically.