Harnessing the power of the wind

Issue: Volume 98, Number 19

Posted: 8 November 2019
Reference #: 1HA26D

New STEM resources will help students discover how Emirates Team New Zealand uses the wind to help them bring home the America’s Cup.

New online resources from the Genesis School-gen programme will give students a peek at what happens behind the scenes of the America’s Cup.

‘Harnessing the Power of the Wind’ has a science focus, and ‘Measuring Wind Power’ has a maths focus. The new learning tools will inspire students to discover how Emirates Team New Zealand’s new mono-foiling boat will reach speeds of almost 95km/hr, using the power of wind.

“We wanted to develop some resources jointly with Emirates Team New Zealand to engage kids and take them behind the scenes at the America’s Cup to see the work of scientists, technologists and engineers, as a lot of what we do here at Genesis and the Emirates Team New Zealand crew do is STEM-focused,” says Genesis Energy School-gen manager, Jenny Burke. 

Hands-on concepts

Students are encouraged to build their own boats, to understand floating and sinking, and think about the sustainability of their boat building materials. They are also introduced to the concept of on-water measurement, including nautical miles and knots, and how to use calculations to predict boat times and distances and work out the perimeter and area of an America’s Cup racecourse.

“There are some nice synergies for Genesis as we harness the wind to generate electricity. The new resource focuses on the boat and different ways to use the wind to make the boat go faster. But we also offer curriculum resources on power generation. Ultimately, we want to get students interested in generating energy in sustainable ways,” says Jenny. 

Both Genesis and Emirates Team New Zealand are focused on inspiring the next generation of innovators. 

“There are many career opportunities in STEM and we want to inspire students to follow that path and come and work with us. The energy sector is always thinking about different alternatives for energy generation and some of these students might become the innovators of tomorrow,” she says.

Emirates Team New Zealand Chief Executive Grant Dalton says both Emirates Team New Zealand and Genesis are focused on pushing the boundaries when it comes to technical innovations.

 “We hope making these practical, real-life resources available through the Genesis School-gen programme will inspire the next generation of Kiwi kids into STEM careers,” he says.

Genesis has worked directly with teachers to develop these STEM-focused learning resources.  The resources are also available in te reo Māori and free for anyone to use on the School-gen website (Level 3–4 tab).

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 9:47 am, 8 November 2019

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