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Generating Electricity with Wind—Flinn STEM Design Challenge™

By: The Flinn Staff

Item #: AP8051 

Price: $59.00

In Stock.

In the Generating Electricity with Wind—Flinn STEM Design Challenge™ Kit, build a rotor and blade assembly. Test and retest turbines for electrical output.

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Capture the energy of the wind and convert it to electricity! Wind farms are a rapidly-growing industry, providing electricity for over 11 million homes and creating tens of thousands of jobs in recent years. In this activity, students investigate how the blade design of a wind turbine affects the amount of power it generates. In the first part of this activity, students learn how to build a rotor and blade assembly from the materials provided. Each group’s prototype is tested by attaching it to a DC motor (acting in reverse as a generator) connected to a multimeter. A fan provides the wind. The highest reading of volts and amps are recorded and the maximum power output is calculated. After making observations and analyzing data from the preliminary tests, students brainstorm and decide how to make adjustments to enhance their design. The improved turbines are given a final test for electrical output. As students learn about wind power, they connect physics concepts to real-world problems! Complete for 30 students working in pairs and two testing stations. Multimeters and support stands with clamps are required for each testing station and are available separately. Box-type floor fans or turbo fans are also required for each testing station.


Materials Included in Kit: 
Bamboo skewer, 12", 100
Cap, 28/410 with PEFM liner, white PP, 2
Cardboard sheet, 8½" x 8½", 8
Corks, size 11, pkg/30
DC motor, 1.5 V - 6V, with alligator clips on wires, 2
Foam sheets, 8½" x 5½", 12
Folder, manila, 4
Polystyrene sheet, opaque white, 12" x 12", 9% capacity, 4
Sandpaper sheet, 9" x 11"

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
MS-ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
MS-ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution
HS-PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

Crosscutting Concepts

Scale, proportion, and quantity
Cause and effect
Systems and system models
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
HS-PS3-2. Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
HS-PS3-3. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.