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Kids learn about wind energy at program

Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:03 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:05 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – At the next Bright Futures program, students will learn that April’s strong, gusty winds are good for more than just flying kites. The program, “Fun with Wind Energy,” will introduce elementary and middle school students to alternative energy and the science behind wind turbines.

“Wind is an important source of energy for us to tap into as it contributes very little to the accumulation of greenhouse gases,” said Pati Sievert, director of STEM Outreach. She and Melissa Burlingame, program coordinator for the Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy, will share how wind energy can be harnessed to do work. Students will then get to participate in hands-on activities to test the different aspects of windmills and discover what makes them most effective in generating energy.

“When these kids grow up, they will have opportunities to continue to enhance the use of wind energy. Getting them excited about this rapidly growing field early will help them ask questions we never thought to ask and take the technology to the next level,” Burlingame said.

Bright Futures will continue to offer fun, educational programs throughout the spring. On May 12, organizers will present the Electric Art Lab at NIU’s Physics Building where kids can learn the science behind electric art and then create some art of their own. On June 6, the program will conclude with an Electric Fair at the DeKalb Public Library. The fair will celebrate electricity with electrified hot dogs and pickles, face painting, squishy circuits, electric art and much more.

Fun with Wind Energy

7 p.m. April 30

NIU Engineering Building, 590 Garden Road, DeKalb

Free parking in the lots around the building.

Students in middle and high school can learn about wind energy and engage in hands-on activities to test windmills.

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