James Madison University

Teacher Professional Development

The Center for Wind Energy at JMU offers a myriad of teacher training workshops throughout the year. Not all of these trainings are free of charge, but some are. Pricing will be discussed when you contact us or in any informational emails we send out.

We are also able to create a custom training in order to meet your individual needs. If you would like to request a teacher training workshop for your school, district or organization, please fill out the request form and return it to us at VAcenter4windenergy@jmu.edu or fax it to (540) 568 - 8795.

Most teacher trainings are eligible for CEU credits through the JMU office of Outreach and Engagement.

Available Training

Below is a list and description of all the teacher trainings that we offer:

Wind for Schools - NEED and WindWise

We will hold trainings specifically for Host and Partner schools and any new Affiliate schools in the Wind for School program each year. This workshop will present mainly NEED curricula, specifically the Wind for Schools Guide, but can include WindWise curricula upon request. Teachers will walk away with a wind energy kit from NEED for their appropriate grade level (contingent on funding). If these trainings do not fill up with Host, Partner, and Affiliate school teachers then we will open them up to others in the state. Subscribe to our listserv to be sure to receive notice of these openings first.

KidWind Challenge

Each year we host the Virginia Kid Wind Challenge. In preparation for the Challenge, we offering teacher training workshops throughout the Summer and into the Fall as orientations to the KidWind Challenge. We will build our own model turbines, design and build our own blades for the turbines, and then discuss how to upgrade those base models. We will also have a mock "Challenge" to help teachers understand how the competition will be run and what they will be judged on. Teachers will leave with a model turbine for their classroom (contingent on funding) and if they register a team for the Challenge, will receive the needed base materials at no charge fromfrom KidWind/Vernier.  To learn more about the KidWind Challenge and how to register, see the K12 Education page of our site.

Energy Conservation - Kilowatt Ours

Kilowatt Ours is an award winning documentary that addresses issues of energy use and gives examples of energy conservation actions that anyone can take. We use this as a basis for teaching students about energy conservation - the first step before adding any renewable sources of energy. During training teachers will learn about energy conservation in general, watch the documentary, and then get a change to try a couple of the activities from the companion curriculum (available free online). Teachers will leave with a copy of the educator's edition of the movie for their classroom.


JMU is a GLOBE Program partner. Workshops are not free. Schools will have to pay for the time for the facilitator as well as any supplies needed. Please contact Wayne Gilchrest if you are interested in a GLOBE workshop for your teachers.

PowerPoint Presentations

We understand that it is important to have good introductory materials when you go to start a unit on any topic. So, when starting a wind energy module we have some PowerPoint presentations that we have created that you may find useful for teaching certain important concepts.

Please feel free to use these, but note that KidWind, NEED and KiloWatt Ours all have great resources on their websites (presentations, image libraries, videos, etc)