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Spin, Wendle and Windy

Several thousand work books about wind power are being distributed to school children by the Kern Wind Energy Association (KWEA) in the Tehachapi area of California. Geared towards pupils aged 10-13, the books, entitled "Wind Energy Powers the World," have been flying off the shelves of the wind association since they were completed late last year. Some of the books have even been distributed farther afield -- wherever there are wind farms in the US. The book, narrated by a windmill named Spin with help from his young human pals Wendle and Windy, was designed by local teacher and artist Mary Bradford.

The idea, says KWEA president Linda White, is to reach kids in nearby schools from the third to fifth grade as they learn about energy -- especially since they often tour the Tehachapi Pass wind plants. And through the kids KWEA hopes to reach parents and teachers too, says White. The first print run was of 5000 copies -- approximately one for each turbine in Tehachapi -- and a second run is planned. Lesson plans will also be devised to accompany each section of the slightly revised second edition.

The 12 page booklet gives a simple history of windmills and what they were used for, shows how they work -- from the yaw and generator to the anemometer -- and includes puzzles, experiments and diagrams on subjects ranging from conservation, different types of wind turbine, and the "power path" between a wind farm and a home.

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