Kit allows students to better understand how renewables, storage, and electric vehicles fit into the energy big picture.
The KidWind Project, the international leader in clean energy education, developed the Power Grid Kit to introduce students to the world’s largest machine and help them have a better understanding of how the power system works and the challenges it faces. This kit is the first large-scale, functioning grid model that provides educators with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore power grid systems and solutions with students of all ages.
“Approximately 3.3 million people work on the power grid and related infrastructure and this workforce is growing by 5% each year. Our team noticed a gap in this educational space and has spent the last four years building a hands-on platform to engage students as they explore the electrical system and hopefully spark their interest in pursuing energy-related careers,” said Michael Arquin, founder of KidWind. “By utilizing the kit and curriculum, students will have a better understanding of the changes, like renewables, storage, and electric vehicles, coming to the power grid in the next 10 years.”
The kit models the flow of electricity from generation sources like nuclear, coal, natural gas, wind, hydro and solar power through substations before being distributed to industrial, commercial, and residential consumers. It also models distributed generation in the form of solar gardens and private residential wind turbines to demonstrate the broad range of energy options possible in the future. This expansive tabletop kit includes more than 15 power grid components and is supported with curricula and web resources to help educators teach about the power grid.
The Power Grid Kit offers integrated electronics and the option for educators to laser cut all of the components in their own workshops. The wooden block design coupled with integrated electronics makes it easy to demonstrate how the grid and its components work together to bring electricity to homes and businesses.
With recent development grants from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for Massachusetts STEM Week (October 19-23, 2020) and Clean Energy Bright Futures of Portland, KidWind has developed a package of lower cost hands-on lessons to address students’ need to learn remotely which can be used independently or integrated into the larger Power Grid Kit platform. These materials, coupled with the Power Grid Kit loaner program which will launch in January 2020, will give more students access to these resources and materials. For Massachusetts STEM Week’s Empowered Design Challenges, high school students will have the opportunity to explore the power grid and how it works through a variety of hands-on design challenges. This challenge is designed for virtual, hybrid, or all in-person and students can choose from three mini-modules based on time and circumstances.
Pre-orders for the kit can be made until October 31, 2020, and those orders will begin shipping November 20, 2020. Ordering via purchase orders will be available after December 1, 2020. For more information about the Power Grid Kit, visit: https://www.powergridkit.com/.
The KidWind Project, an international leader in renewable energy education, has been working with educators and students to integrate renewable energy into classrooms for over 15 years. Since 2004, KidWind has held more than 800 training events for more than 50,000 teachers all over the world. For more information about our trainings, challenges and curricular materials, visit www.kidwind.org.