Science Experiment - windmill

  • BY AG Education |
  • December 20, 2017

Harness the power of the wind with your own windmill

About this experiment

The power of the wind is harnessed through wind farms, which use giant blades to capture the movement of air and turn it into electricity. In this experiment you will create your own paper ‘blades’ that are moved by the power of the wind

Materials

  • Thin wooden dowel (available from hardware stores)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Straight pearl sewing pin
  • Parchment paper (choose your favourite colours and patterns!)

*Safety warning: make sure you have a parent or teacher to assist.

Steps

  1. Cut your piece of parchment paper into a square about 10cm x 10cm.
  2. Fold the square on the diagonal from corner to corner and then unfold. Repeat, folding from the remaining corners. When you unfold, there should be a cross creased into the paper.
  3. On each crease, use a pencil to mark a point about 1/3 of the way from the centre.
  4. Use the scissors to cut along each crease from the outside corner toward the centre of the square. Make sure to stop cutting when you reach the pencil mark.
  5. There should now be eight points around the corners of the paper. Bend every second point toward the centre of the paper (don’t push down to make a crease).
  6. Holding the four points at the centre, push a pin through to secure through the centre of the paper.
  7. Gently guide slide the pinwheel to the pearl end of the pin.
  8. Push the pointy end of the pin securely into the wooden dowel, making sure there is some space between the dowel and the paper.
  9. Push the dowel into the ground somewhere outside where it will be in the wind.
  10. Watch your wheel spin!

These paper windmills also make nice decorations, so feel free to repeat the process with differently coloured and patterned paper.