Magic of Wind

We came home from the center and was inspired to learn more about the wind and use for energy. Lisa

This simple experiment with a windmill is a great example :

Windmills are machines that convert energy from the wind into useful work by rotating. The rotation of a windmill often powers a motor or generator used to produce electricity or mechanical work (moving objects). Using wind power to turn the rotation of an object into useful energy and work dates back to 1st century Greece, and wind wheels are also well documented in 7th century Persia. They have been used to lift things up and down, especially water from the ground, to power machines thatcrush grain and process food, and more recently to power motors to generate electricity.

Windmills are good examples of wheel-and-axle machines. The wheel is able to rotate freely on an axis, harnessing the wind’s energy to move it by having sails, or shapes that can catch the wind.Cut out a square of each type of paper.

Draw an X diagonally, from corner to corner, on each one.Use a hole punch to make a hole in the center large enough for the straw to fit through.Cut along each line, bu tstop about half an inch from the center hole.Bring each free corner down to where the cut stops near the center of the paper and secure it with glue. This will create the ‘sails’ for your windmill.Insert a straw through the center of each windmill, this will serve as the axis.Insert a wooden skewer through the straw so it can rotate freely.Towards the end of the straw, tape one end of a piece of string to the straw. Tie or tape the other end of the string to a paperclip.Hold the ends of the wooden skewer and blow on the sails of your windmill model. What happens? Which windmill works the best and why?


The string will wind around the straw as the windmill moves and the paper clip will be lifted. Cardstock will likely produce the best sails because it is the stiffest. Printer paper will have the weakest sails.


The shape created when folding the corners of the paper into the center creates a sail, which will catch your breath when you blowon it. Your breath will then rotate the wheel, which will rotate the axis. Because the axis is connected to the string and the dangling paper clip, it will convert the energy from your breath, harnessed by the wheel, into useful work by twisting up the string and lifting the paperclip.

Now a Netflix film starring and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, this is a gripping memoir of survival and perseverance about the heroic young inventor who brought electricity to his Malawian village.

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William’s story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.

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