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Undecided with Matt Ferrell


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Physics, Economics, History, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 13 minutes, 3 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Why Wind Power Ships May Be the Future of Transportation

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  • In this video, host Matt Ferrell examines the potential for wind power ships to decarbonize shipping. 
  • Students will learn about the potential of wind propulsion technology for reducing carbon emissions for shipping, such as the use of rotor sails and wingsails. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video is a great addition to any physics or engineering class to teach about the real-life applications of Newton's third law and renewable energy technologies.
  • The video describes some exciting and innovative new technologies for wind power that are currently in development.
  • The video description provides a link to the full transcript and sources.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video may begin with an ad.
  • There are two ads in the video. They occur from 5:15 to 6:29, and from 12:33 to 13:03.
  • This resource discusses some fairly complex topics and uses advanced vocabulary, including decarbonizing and neutralizing carbon emissions, the Magnus effect (a fluid dynamics principle), biofuels, and lift, drag, and thrust forces.


  • Science or engineering classes could use this video as part of a research project about types of renewable energies.
  • Physics classes could use the video to discuss applications of the concepts of thrust and drag.
  • History or economics classes could focus on the part of the video that examines the history of the shipping industry and how it has changed based on resource availability and globalization.
  • Other related resources include this course about clean energy sources, this lesson in which students can build their own wind turbine, and this game about wind patterns.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a 13-minute video that looks at the potential, and current status, of wind-powered boats that can be used for shipping materials around the globe. While wind power was the only option for sailing hundreds of years ago, fossil-fuel power has become the predominant means of shipping. New technologies, including rotor and wingsail technologies, are currently being tested and have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions from the shipping industry. This is a technology-and prototype-oriented resource and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • 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.
    • PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
      • HS-PS2-2 Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
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