What is energy?

Where does it come from?

What does it mean when we say “renewable energy”?

Why is this a big deal?


These are some of the questions that middle school students at The Renaissance International School (TRIS) have been considering in the first few weeks of school so far this year. The discussions and presentations we have had have given them plenty of food for thought about this global issue. One student wrote:



Some things that surprised me [about renewable energy] so much is that I thought the main reason that renewable energy was so important was because of climate change. I had not imagined that once we ran out of fossil fuels our renewable energy infrastructure will have to be big enough and advanced enough to sustain the entire human race. What gives me hope is that I think we, as humans, are smart enough to act and turn this energy crisis around....I believe people will make an effort to save the planet and themselves/their children from much suffering.”

This week, students built a mini wind turbine using a Kidwind kit which allows students to examine the different factors that can influence the efficiency of the turbine.

MontessoriMiddleSchool WindTurbine

The students focused on examining whether the orientation of the blades on the wind turbine had an impact on the power generated. Needless to say, it was very exciting to watch their enthusiasm when they were able to answer this question so concretely. They are looking forward to seeing how else they can use their turbine!

Students from Oakland, Berkeley, Moraga, Alameda and throughout the San Francisco east bay attend The Renaissance International School's Montessori middle school program.

Related Posts about our Montessori Middle School program:

Montessori Middle School Students Learn about Biodiversity

Students to Attend Montessori Model United Nations in China in November 2014

Montessori Middle School Openings