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The Kid Should See This, Great Big Story


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Physics, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Video, 5 minutes, 44 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Article

Regional Focus

North America, United States

Climbing Wind Turbines for a Living

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  • In this video, wind turbine technician Jessica Kilroy tells her story and describes a day in the life of a wind turbine technician. 
  • The article includes helpful statistics about the increasing prevalence of wind power in the United States and provides links to resources, including a video on military veterans working in the wind power industry. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video is a great way for teachers to connect the content in their class to relevant careers in STEM. 
  • Students can learn more about how women and veterans use their passions and skills to succeed in a STEM profession. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • While not required, it may be helpful for students to have a basic knowledge of what wind turbines are and how they work before watching the video.
  • The Great Big Story, 100,000 American Workers, and Wind Energy Foundation links are broken.


  • Students in career pathways or life skills classes could watch this video and then make a list of other renewable energy career paths that are likely to grow in the coming years.
  • English language arts classes could watch this video and then respond to the following writing prompt: In the video, Jessica Kilroy spoke about her challenging journey to become a rock climber and wind turbine technician. Reflect on an obstacle that you have overcome (or are working on overcoming) in your life to meet a goal.
  • Other related resources include this activity for building a wind generator, this video about wind power technologies used to power ships, and this interactive map of wind energy infrastructure in the United States. 
Scientist Notes
While this video does not have any specific science to verify, it does provide a human story on renewable energy and provides insight into an often overlooked aspect of wind turbine electricity generation. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
    • PS3: Energy
      • HS-PS3-3 Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
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