This short, animated video explains how the construction of offshore wind turbines not only generates clean energy, but it could add marine habitat as well.
Students will learn that careful selection of erosion protection materials for offshore wind turbine construction could be an expansion of underwater habitat, creating many more spaces for marine life to live, eat, and reproduce.
This video is succinct and includes engaging graphics.
The graphics, maps, diagrams, and text directly support the content to help younger learners comprehend new concepts.
Students may benefit from background information on wind energy, focusing on offshore wind turbines.
It may be helpful for students to understand the impacts of disturbing the ocean floor and erosion.
Differentiate this lesson by providing some students with access to this digital book about the basics of wind energy written at a beginning reading level.
Consider showing this video more than once and pre-teaching vocabulary to students as a comprehension support.
This video could supplement lessons at upper grade levels, possibly offering a different perspective when learning about how much land it might take to power the world, engineering courses, ecosystem lessons, or renewable energy sources.
For extension, have students read the article about turbine reefs that is linked below the video and write about how marine habitat and clean energy could be optimized during the construction of these wind turbines.
Have advanced students come up with a plan to make sure there is the least disturbance possible when installing these turbines, including what is required for this type of project. Also include an investigation about other artificial reefs that could support solar energy.
This video resource from The Nature Conservancy provides a look at the potential habitats created by offshore wind turbines. This resource examines how sea floor erosion control material can be engineered to protect the foundations of skyscraper sized wind turbines, while also providing habitat for fish and other marine species. This video features colorful animations and clearly shows that, with some thoughtful design, offshore wind turbines can provide energy, reduce carbon emissions, and create artificial reefs. The linked website at nature.org in the video description provides more information on turbine reefs, and this resource could serve as a springboard for further investigation into artificial reefs. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
ETS1: Engineering Design
MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Speaking & Listening (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.