Science 5: Let's Make a Turbine
Today we're going to convert wind into energy. No, it's not a lesson on alchemy. We're not allowed to teach about that anymore. Take a look at the video, though, and we'll tell you about an even better (real) way to do it.
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
Wow, this is a long call….
Let's quickly explain exactly why we want you to build a wind turbine.
And don't worry, it'll be way faster than that call… [Coop dancing with a hat]
It's because we want you to better understand how the alternative energy source known as
wind power works!
Ever see those big windmills out in the middle of a field? [Wind farm]
Those are wind turbines that use air movement to spin, and all that spinning creates electricity. [Wind turbines turning really fast]
By building a little turbine of your own, you'll get a glimpse into the life of a wind [Girl holding her own wind turbine made from a carton]
turbine engineer, whose job is to design the most efficient energy-making wind turbines.
Pretty cool, huh?
Okay, back to the fun – and back to our materials.
So for starters, let's grab your milk carton and your dowel.
What you're going to do is poke a hole all the way through the carton, about two-thirds [Shmoop milk carton and an X showing where the hole needs to be]
of the way up.
[Pointed fingers showing the position of the holes]
Once you've done that, you're going to stick your dowel right through those two holes.
Next, you'll put your foam ball on one end of the dowel, like so. [The dowel is stuck through the carton]
On the other end of the dowel, you'll use the string to tie a small paper cup to it.
[The string and paper cup are attached to the dowel]
You'll want to make sure it hangs a few inches from the dowel.
Easy, breezy right?
Well…not breezy yet.
Patience, grasshopper. [Girl dressed in karate gear]
Next up comes the blades of your turbine.
Those are the things sticking off the turbine that catch the wind. [Turbine blades highlighted]
But we're not going to just tell you how to design these.
Instead, it's up to you to experiment with the design and shape of your blades in order
to figure out what seems to work best. [Guy with an afro and big safety goggles]
You should have some craft sticks, index cards, pencils, scissors and glue for this. [The different materials appear]
And to give you an idea of what it should roughly look like, here's an example – except
instead of just fastening on the cards like this, you'll want to cut them into a super-effective [Red cross appears over the wrong design]
wind-catching blade shape.
Your teacher will show you how to test your turbine's blades to see how successful they are. [Teacher blowing on the blades but they don't move]
And if you're not happy with your results, then go right back to the drawing board and [Teacher collapses]
try something new.
After all, it's called an experiment for a reason: so you can experiment! [Girl hitting herself on the head with a pencil]
Once you've finished your turbine, only one question will remain:
What on earth were you talking to your eye doctor about??
Seriously, that call was a longer call than this video. [Girl still on the phone]