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Coastal Heritage Curriculum Connection

Explore Curriculum Connection guides, which are written to accompany each issue of Coastal Heritage, a quarterly publication of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

Coastal Heritage, Winter 2010 issue: Offshore Wind: Testing the Water

Focus Questions

  • What are the main reasons for exploring the use of offshore wind power?
  • What are the differences between wind power generated from land turbines compared with that of offshore turbines? To date, which has been more successful?
  • What are the pros and cons to constructing wind farms off the coast of South Carolina?
  • Will wind power become a main source of energy, replacing the use of fossil fuels? Why or why not?

Use the Curriculum Connection to address South Carolina Standards

4th Grade: Weather
4-4.3: Compare daily and seasonal changes in weather conditions (including wind speed and direction, precipitation, and temperature) and patterns.

4-4.5: Carry out the procedures for data collecting and measuring weather conditions (including wind speed and direction, precipitation, and temperature) by using appropriate tools and instruments.

5th Grade: Landforms and Oceans
5-3.4: Explain how waves, currents, tides, and storms affect the geologic features of the ocean shore zone (including beaches, barrier islands, estuaries, and inlets).

5-3.6: Explain how human activity (including conservation efforts and pollution) has affected the land and the oceans of Earth.

6th Grade: Earth’s Atmosphere and Weather
6-4.1: Use appropriate instruments and tools to collect weather data (including wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity, and air pressure).

9th – 12th: Earth’s Atmosphere
ES-4.7: Summarize the evidence for the likely impact of human activities on the atmosphere (including ozone holes, greenhouse gases, acid rain, and photochemical smog).

Lesson Links

Carbon Cycle

  • Carbon moves from one area of earth to another – often taking millions of years to be released once absorbed. The amount of carbon on earth does not change; however, the levels found in the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere changes. Carbon, once linked with oxygen, creates carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas. Increased levels of carbon dioxide have been attributed to the warming of the earth or greenhouse effect. The Carbon Cycle Game is an interactive web-based lesson that shows how carbon is released and absorbed – including man-made and natural processes. Go to and travel around with carbon! (4th – 9th )
  • For a kinesthetic, interactive game, check out the COSEE-SE lesson, Carbon: The World Traveler, for students to actively see how carbon travels around the globe! Access to this lesson can be found on the COSEE-SE website: at . (6th – 12th)

Tracking Wind Speed: Gathering the Evidence

  • Visit the SECOORA website for hourly data on water temperature, air temperature, salinity, waves, currents, and more. Check out the site for educational activities and resources (6th – 12th).
  • Santee Cooper, S.C. Energy Office, and Coastal Carolina University have deployed buoys offshore to gather data on wind speed, strength, and duration. Among the instruments used is an anemometer that collects wind data. Make your own anemometer and study wind power using the lesson from  (4th – 12th).

Alternative Energy

Educational Extensions

    1. Using your mouse, drag the map so that the United States is showing.
    2. Zoom in using the feature on the left side of the menu so that South Carolina is enlarged.
    3. By placing your mouse over the various buoys, you can read the description of their location.
    4. Click on any of the buoys to gather data in real-time!

(6th – 12th)

  • Wind Energy Problem Based Learning Activity
    You and your team represent a group of leading scientists in Georgetown County. Your team has been charged with developing a plan to determine whether offshore wind would be strong enough to suit the energy needs of the county. Using the Curriculum Connection links, Coastal Heritage information, and your own research, what information/plan would you present to the Governor of South Carolina in March of 2011? (6th – 12th)
  • The Minerals Management Service (MMS), a bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior, is the federal agency that manages the nation’s natural gas, oil, and other mineral resources on the outer continental shelf. Check out the website at for more information and visit their Kids Page for FREE educational resources. (K-12th)