Harness the power of wind with this hands-on activity.
Students will learn about the basics of wind energy and how turbines work, then use recycled materials to build handmade pinwheels.
Elmer's Glue All*, colorful lightweight paper, scissors, clothespins, pushpins, map pins
SET UP AND PREPARE
- Begin by teaching students about the power of wind energy. From old-fashioned windmills used for pumping water and food production on farms, to today's modern wind turbines, wind power is a valuable form of renewable energy. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has more useful facts on wind energy. http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=wind_home-basics
- Ask students if they can think of other renewable energy sources, like water and the sun, and explain why they are so powerful.
1.To begin this project, give each student a piece of paper, cut in a perfect square. Each side should be about six inches long.
2. Instruct students to use scissors to carefully poke a small hole in the center of the square.
3. Next, fold the paper square in half, diagonally. Then, fold in half again.
4. Unfold the square and cut along each crease two-thirds of the way towards the square's center.
5. Fold every other point to center of the square so the points overlap and hold them firmly in place. Students can apply Elmer's Glue All to the paper as they fold, and around the hole where the points meet, to make sure they stay in place.
6. Next, poke a pushpin through the hole in the center, press firmly, then remove the pushpin. Place a map pin into the hole. The hole made by the pushpin should be larger than the circumference of the map pin, so when wind is applied, the pinwheel can spin freely.
7. Instruct students to use Elmer's Glue All to fasten the back of the pinwheel to a clothespin.
8. Invite students to test the pinwheels outside or indoors using a fan.