Power Your House with Wind

This is a hands-on activity students design, build, and test. They compare the energy-generating capacities of vertical- and horizontal- axis wind turbine prototypes they have built as potential sources for power in a home.

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Tyler Maline
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Denise W. Carlson
University of Colorado

Notes From Our Reviewers

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

There are many activities that allow students to build wind turbines and experiment with them. This is one of the best that we have seen, and the overall design of the activity can be adapted. For example, students could skip the vertical axis wind turbine and instead experiment with blade designs for a horizontal axis turbine (which are the most common type of turbines).

Have students conduct their own research on the two types of turbines (design, rationale, extent of use, etc.) before proposing their own prototype designs.

This activity could be a good interdisciplinary learning experience, with science, technology/engineering, and math teachers working together.

Activity was created in 2007 and primary reference is about the same vintage. While the general approach of the activity is still valid, R&D in the design and use of wind turbines to power residential energy needs may have shifted since then and have bearing on the outcomes of activity.