Inspire the next generation of scientists to discover "green" energy sources by building a smaller model of a wind energy turbine. A windmill generator can produce electricity using power from the wind and is a renewable resource. Kids can test many variables when building an electricity and windmill project, such as the effect of windmill configurations, types, blade sizes, wind speeds and many other variables that test the effectiveness of wind energy; they can also discover ways to improve the design of a windmill to produce the most amount of electricity. Infinitepower.org provides a simple design for building a windmill and a detailed lesson plan for implementing the project in the classroom.
- Small fan or hair dryer
- Small Direct Current (DC) motor
- 2 cm diameter cork
- Stiff ruler
- Electrical wire
- Alligator clips
- Rubber band
- Paper clips
- Wire cutters
Kidwind.org provides kits for making a wind turbine.
Children should build this windmill under close adult supervision.
Attach the small electric motor to a ruler using a rubber band. Be sure that the motor shaft extends the edge of the ruler.
Attach two pieces of wire to each of the motor's outlets.
Attach the wires with alligator clips to a Direct Current (DC) voltmeter, which is used to measure the electricity flowing through the circuit.
Straighten the lower part of four paper clips and clip off all but one centimeter of the end of the clip.
Design wind blades based on the size, shape, and number of blades that you think will work best. Cut the design out of cardboard.
Attach the blades to the central part of the paper clips, using tape.
Insert the bent end of each paper clip into the small end of a cork.
Place the large cork end into the motor shaft.
Hold the fan or hair dryer approximately 30 centimeters away from the windmill and turn on.
Things You'll Need
- windmill image by Bruce Allinson from Fotolia.com