Curriculum Design for an Inclusive, Interdisciplinary Collegiate Wind Competition Course

The motivation of this research project was to design curriculum for an interdisciplinary and inclusive wind energy course, which would prepare students to attend the U.S. Department of Energy’s Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC). The CWC is attended by Penn State students every year and allows for many personal and professional development opportunities. A student wind energy club already exists at Penn State, but the gender diversity has historically trailed off throughout the year. There is a desire to engage a broader group of students in the competition and make the environment more inclusive for this group. Therefore, by incorporating student “funds of knowledge,” we designed a curriculum to attract students of all backgrounds, genders, disciplines, and cultures. The resulting 3-credit class will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays in Fall 2019. The course structure is based on information from a variety of sources, including the 2017 Wind Technologies Market Report and the Project Drawdown Onshore Wind Energy Literature Review, and is as follows. Students begin with an introductory module, which will introduce them to wind energy and the societal impacts of wind turbines, among many other concepts. Students will then have the opportunity to select from tracks which will focus on different skill sets and will enable them to learn in an area which best suits them. These tracks include: Project Development, Generator, Aerodynamics, and Electrical/Controls. There are also many optional activities related to Finance/Business, Communications, and several Online Learning modules to help round out their experience. The course will then culminate in a final project, which will require the different sections to come together to produce a report to be used in the competition. By designing this curriculum, we hope to both increase the environmental literacy of all students and help to provide a memorable and inclusive classroom experience.

Monday Poster Session
Valerie Doornbos
Related Conference Themes
Electricity Generation
Women & Girls