Creating Wind Turbine Kits for Children's Projects Creating Wind Turbine Kits for Children's Projects
Wind turbine kits for children are a very good idea. They familiarize kids with the idea of using wind as an energy source. As they grow older the wind turbine kits can become more complex, allowing them to understand more of the science behind it all. You can buy wind turbine kits for children, but it’s just as easy to create your own, adjusting them for different age groups.
Pre-School and Kindergarten
It’s never too early to introduce kids to the idea of wind power. Obviously, when very young they’re not going to see or need the technology. However, you can still show them how the wind can work.
One very useful prop is the traditional children’s toy, the windmill. This has nothing more than blades on a stick that spin rapidly when moved by the wind. Children are always delighted by this, and it makes an excellent introduction to wind power. You have to make the connection with the power of the wind and the blades turning. Follow this by having another kit with a windmill on a rod and a tail that’s capable of turning with the wind.
A real windmill is a type of wind turbine. In elementary school you could work with a class to build a windmill, showing how the power of the wind on the blades is harness through gears to grind corn.
Not only does this illustrate the wind turbine itself, but it also shows how it can be used practically. At this age, giving concrete examples is important. Talking about converting wind power into energy is fine, but something they can build, and hold the finished product in their hands, is far more powerful. This is best done in the upper grades of elementary school.
In middle school, children will cover more science, so renewable energy can be part of the syllabus. Again, a hands-on approach can work very well. In this case the wind turbines should be small and can be used to power light bulbs or small appliances.
The kids should be in teams to co-operate on the building of the turbine. This teaches them to work together, always an important skill. Make this a spring project as this is the time when winds are generally the strongest and the wind turbine kits will be most effective.
By high school children deal in more theoretical science, so a wind turbine kit can offer practical alternatives and a demonstration of how the theory can be put into practice.
At this age they’re ready to work on a larger wind turbine. This will mean larger groups, and it might well be a class project. For safety’s sake it’s important not to let the kids work up on ladders, but they can be involved in other aspects of the construction. Ideally, the wind turbine can be hooked up to provide some of the electricity to the school, so the students can see the benefits of the project.