The Wind at Work: An Activity Guide to Windmills

Overview

Explaining how the wind works, what windmills have contributed to the past, and why they offer environmental promise today as a source of clean, renewable energy, this revised and updated edition offers a glimpse into all the current and historical uses for wind power. Featuring new information on wind energy technology and wind farms, new photographs, and 24 wind-related activities—from keeping track of household energy use and conducting science experiments to cooking traditional meals and creating arts and ...

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The Wind at Work: An Activity Guide to Windmills

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Overview

Explaining how the wind works, what windmills have contributed to the past, and why they offer environmental promise today as a source of clean, renewable energy, this revised and updated edition offers a glimpse into all the current and historical uses for wind power. Featuring new information on wind energy technology and wind farms, new photographs, and 24 wind-related activities—from keeping track of household energy use and conducting science experiments to cooking traditional meals and creating arts and crafts—this handy resource offers kids interested in the science of energy and green technologies an engaging, interactive, and contemporary overview of wind power.

An introduction to windmills and their advantages as renewable energy providers, with activities for understanding some of the principles of wind.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sue Reichard
This is a complete and comprehensive look at windmills; it talks about the important part they have played in our lives and how they will be used in the future. This book describes how windmills work, the history of windmills and even windmill careers. The text is well written and is accompanied by many photographs and drawings. There is an activity section that tells how to build your own windmill.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8This combination of science, history, and activities centers around the use of wind as a source of power. The historical information is excellent, and includes Persian windmills of 1000 years ago, Dutch windmills of the 17th century, and modern wind turbines. Amusing anecdotes and intriguing facts are woven into the text, keeping it lively. An American farmer brags about all of the tasks his windmill accomplishes, including sawing wood, running a washing machine, and powering a pipe organ. A fascinating section on a windmiller's daily life reveals how the expression "rule of thumb" came to be. Black-and-white historical prints, photographs, and diagrams appear throughout. The mechanics of various windmills are briefly explained, but the emphasis is more on what the machines can do rather than on how they work. The well-balanced presentation offers worldwide coverage and objective information regarding the pros and cons of wind power compared to other sources. Each chapter ends with instructions for several projects. Some, like making a wind sock and wind vane, are directly related to wind power. Many others, though, have a vaguer connection. Activities such as "Create Landscape Art" and "Sing a Song of the American West" may not capture the imagination of children exploring the book on their own, but could work perfectly as resources for teachers or parents. Appendixes include a list of windmills and turbine sites, energy associations, environmental groups, and related career opportunities. A worthwhile purchase.Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
The work of windmills spans centuries but Woelfle's detailed history makes for good reading right now. In this updated edition of a 1997 book, she walks us quickly through the beginnings until we get to the golden age, when windmills produced the majority of power in Europe. In the 1300s up until the industrial revolution, windmills were used for sawing, milling, and draining water from land. The life of those that lived at the mill literally revolved on the wind. I found it fascinating that the common idioms in English came from this profession. "Nose to the grindstone" refers to the work of a miller checking for cracks. Other chapters deal with windmills in the west, and the current rebirth of windmill power, and how that energy is collected. Like all the books in this series, the chapters are punctuated with well-thought out activities. Readers can build model windmills (pinwheels), write about the wind, and create a windsock. While building actual turbines is a bit beyond the activities section, Woelfle does describe different models. History buffs and kids who are doing units on green energy will enjoy reading about energy this book. Backmatter includes lists of resources, bibliography, and index. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
VOYA - Robbie L. Flowers
For centuries, people have worked to harness the power of the wind. This interesting title captures the rich history of windmills, how they are operated, and the science of the wind. The author delves into the subject matter with both feet. The information is sound and the illustrations are interesting. Historical photographs keep the reader interested as they move through chapters seamlessly. Readers will see everything from detailed diagrams of windmills to photos of the people whose livelihoods depended on the mills. The author works hard to capture the time periods as well as the people in them. The reader will see the natural progression throughout history of the windmill through the present day, as well as discover graphics that show everything from wind speeds to the greenhouse effect's role on Earth. A variety of activities accompany the book's chapters. These activities provide well-planned experiments for children, families, and teachers. This is a wonderful addition to any collection that has science for children. It will work well in both a public and school setting. Be it a science fair project need or simple interest in the wind, this treatment will assist young readers and families in finding what they are searching for and even offer some unexpected surprises. Reviewer: Robbie L. Flowers
School Library Journal
Gr 4–9—This edition is similar in scope, organization, and format to the 1997 volume, but has expanded from 9 chapters to 10 and includes developments in wind technology since publication of the earlier book. Once again, the author covers the history of windmills, and looks at the types and purposes of European and American varieties, the life of a windmiller, evolving wind technology, and possible future uses of wind as an alternative energy source. Captioned black-and-white reproductions of photographs, paintings, and diagrams appear throughout, but lack contrast. For example, it is difficult to see the differences in the key accompanying a map on "United States-Annual Average Wind Speed at 80 m." Each chapter ends with one or more related activities that include experiments, crafts, recipes, and energy-conservation exercises. Appropriate notations indicate when adult supervision is needed. Titles of these projects are on the contents pages, which is in contrast to the first edition, which referred to them generically as "Activities." Topics in the appended materials remain the same with the addition of websites to the bibliography. Useful for classroom or home science studies, this book explains wind power in an understandable style. Libraries needing more materials on alternative energy or wanting to replace the earlier volume should consider it.—Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556523083
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Pages: 156
  • Age range: 8 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Gretchen Woelfle traveled across America and the Netherlands to visit windmills and to talk to people who work with them. She has been known to drive down rough country roads in North America and Europe to see giant wind turbines up close. At home in Los Angeles, Woelfle writes historical fiction and biographies for children of all ages. Katje the Windmill Cat was inspired by her windmill research. All the World’s A Stage: A Novel in Five Acts travels back to Shakespeare’s London. Jeannette Rankin: Political Pioneer, Write on, Mercy: The Secret Life of Mercy Otis Warren, and Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence celebrate heroines of the American history.
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