High levels of wind in the Southern Uplands of Scotland mean it is a good area in which to locate wind farms, a renewable energy source. Wind farms use the power of the wind to turn turbines and generate electricity. A wind turbine is explained using a windmill toy. The wind catches the blades and turns them around. Exposed hilly areas are good places in which to locate wind farms, as there is nothing to block the wind blowing on the turbines.

This clip is from:
See You See Me, Southern Uplands
First broadcast:
30 January 2009

After viewing the clip, ask pupils to track down their nearest wind farm, using internet searches or sites such as Google Earth. The children could gather images of wind turbines for a display, or photograph any examples in the neighbourhood. Ask: "Why are wind farms needed?" Collect pupils' responses and establish that wind farms are sources of renewable energy. Ask: "Why are wind farms sometimes unpopular?" Discuss why some people do not welcome a wind farm next door (noise, ugliness, effects on bird life). Pupils could go on to model how wind is used to generate electricity by attaching cardboard blades to a small electric motor and hooking up the motor to a power meter. Can the children get the meter to register a reading when they blow on the blades?