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Build Your Own Hydroelectric Generator


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    GreenLearning Canada

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Build Your Own Hydroelectric Generator

Learners follow directions to construct a water-powered electrical generator using a turbine made from plastic spoons. The model generates a surprising amount of electricity, enough to light a small light bulb, and closely resembles real micro-hydro designs. Use this activity to introduce learners to renewable energy and water as a source of energy. Main webpage includes links to other related resources. Adult supervision recommended.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Model

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • Electric drill with 1/4 in. drill bit
  • Scissors
  • Electrical tape
  • Ruler
  • 10 cm (3.5 inch) nail or awl
  • Hot glue gun with 3 glue sticks
  • White glue
  • Utility knife
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Permanent felt tip marker
  • Magnetic compass
  • Wire cutters
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Paper templates
  • 4L plastic jug (rectangle style, from vinegar, windshield washer fluid, or similar-see illustration)
  • 10 plastic spoons
  • 1 large cork (3.5 to 5 cm)
  • Enameled magnet wire, 24 gauge (approx. 100 m)
  • Foamcore or heavyweight corrugated cardboard (approx. 22 cm by 30 cm)
  • 6 mm (1/4 in) diameter wooden dowel (20 cm long)
  • 4 ceramic or rare-earth magnets (18mm or larger)
  • Clear vinyl tubing (6 cm long, 1/4 in inside diameter)
  • 4 brass paper fasteners

Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
    • Technology
      • Energy and Power
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electromagnetic Fields
      • Electric Circuits
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories


  • Model Building
  • Nature and Environment

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, GreenLearning Canada, ©2011

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