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Working with Wind Energy

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Working with Wind Energy

In this activity, learners explore how wind energy can be generated on both a large and small scale. Learners design and build a working windmill out of everyday products and learn about anemometers and site testing. Learners' windmills must be able to sustain the wind generated by a fan or hairdryer at medium speed. Learners test the ability of their windmills to rotate and lift a small object upward. Learners evaluate the effectiveness of their windmill and those of other teams, and present their findings to the group.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Student Resource Sheets
  • Student Worksheets
  • Hairdryer or fan
  • Small object for each team to life (suggestions: toy car, yogurt cup filled with a few coins, tea bag, battery, pencil)
  • Wooden stick
  • Wooden spoons
  • Small wooden (balsa) pieces
  • Bendable wire
  • String
  • Paperclips
  • Rubber bands
  • Toothpicks
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Dowels
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic wrap
  • Other materials as needed


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
    • Technology
      • Energy and Power
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and the Environment
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Financial Literacy
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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