Climate change and wind energy resources for teachers and students

The NZWEA recognises the importance of increasing the awareness of climate change, the impact of global warming and the need to reduce emissions from the energy sector.  The Association has developed two science, technology and social sciences units exploring:

  • Climate change and renewable energy 

  • Wind energy.

We hope you find the units helpful and all feedback is welcome.  

Climate change and renewable energy lesson plan

The climate change unit focus on exploring climate change and global warming and how renewable energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help us improve the environment and move to a low carbon economy.

The unit comes complete with a student fact sheet for research and/or shared reading and discussion activities.

Wind energy lesson plan

The wind energy unit specifically focuses on how electricity is made and explaining how wind turbines work. The unit also explores the benefits and environmental impacts of wind energy and provides insight into why societies must make good decisions about using natural resources.

The unit comes complete with a student fact sheet for research and/or shared reading and discussion activities.

If you want to learn even more, take a look at NZWEA's fact sheets. In these fact sheets you can find answers to questions such as: Are wind turbines noisy? Do they frighten animals? How much electricity do they generate? What happens when the wind stops blowing? and much more ....

Online resources

Vestas world

In Vestas World you can meet and interact with virtual characters to find out about the history of wind energy, and how wind energy is created and delivered to homes.

Guided Tour

If you want more advanced information, take the Danish Wind Industry Association’s Guided Tour, written for people who want to know a lot about wind energy, short of becoming wind engineers. The twelve chapters answer most of the questions which students ask us - without requiring you already have a degree in advanced maths and physics. Starting from the basics about wind, the guided tour takes you to the challenging frontiers of wind energy technology as it relates to commercial, large, grid-connected wind turbines.


How is energy generated? How much does it cost? How does it affect the environment? These are extremely important topics today, and are no longer just the domain of engineers and industry experts. ElectroCity, created by Genesis Energy, is an online computer game that lets players manage their own virtual towns and cities. It’s great fun to play and also teaches players all about energy, sustainability and environmental management in New Zealand.

Kid Wind

The US-based Kid Wind Project explores the science behind wind energy. This site has educational materials, workshops, suggested activities and numerous links. They are also hosting a competition for children around the world to build the best wind turbine.

Visit a wind farm

Wind farm operators may arrange site visits for school groups. To request such a visit, please contact the NZWEA.

  • Find details and locations of wind farms which have public access or viewing areas here on the visiting a wind farm section of this website.

If you’d like to experience a wind farm, but your school is too far away, why not take a virtual wind power tour with LEARNZ? LEARNZ is a programme of virtual field trips taking students to remote places all over New Zealand, Antarctica and beyond. It is free for teachers registered with the New Zealand Teachers Council who teach at state, integrated or registered private schools.