Wind Turbine Blade Design

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In this activity, learners design, build and test wind turbines. Learners go through the design process and use the scientific method to test important blade variables. Learners then use this data to create an optimal set of wind turbine blades. Educators can do the basic lesson in 3-4 class periods (about 3-4 hours) or extend the activity with a larger challenge that takes 5-7 class periods in total (about 5-7 hours).

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Some type of model turbine that can quickly interchange blades
  • Multimeters or Voltage/Current Data Loggers or Multimeter Box
  • Box fans
  • Rulers
  • Pictures of Wind Turbine Blades
  • Scale Model Turbines (optional)
  • PowerPoint of Wind Turbines Blades (optional)
  • Wind Speed Meter (optional)
  • Tachometer (optional)
  • Blade construction materials: Cardboard, Balsa Wood, Tissue Paper, Plastic, Paper Cups, Index Cards, Exacto Knifes, Scissors, Glue, Tape, String, Knex, Lego, Tinker Toys, Popsicle Sticks, Toothpicks, Hot Glue Guns


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
    • Technology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • The Scientific Worldview
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Sources:

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory, LEE-5-55877-01
  • Tufts University
  • National Wind Technology Center