In this activity, students will learn about wind energy by making a model wind turbine. Wind turbines are different from windmills. Windmills are used to pump water (get water out of a well) or grind grain whereas wind turbines are used to produce electricity. Wind is a renewable resource and engineers design wind turbines to change the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical and electrical energy. This activity is designed to be a quick and fun introduction to wind energy.
Students work individually or in teams of two.
This pack includes:
- 25 sets of pinwheel materials
- 25 blade templates
- 25 sets of turbine stand materials
- Teacher Instructions
- Student Handouts
Note: In this activity, a wind turbine is a pinwheel that is mounted onto a stationary stand. In step one, students will design their pinwheel blade configuration and ensure that it turns freely. In step two, they will attach the pinwheel to a stand they have designed. Using the engineering design process, they will brainstorm designs, build a model, evaluate their design and redesign if necessary.
Based on activity from The Big Book of Engineering Challenges.
* glue guns, fan, compasses, rulers and scissors not included.