This resource provides the directions for how to build a simple wind-powered elevator using basic materials such as a pencil, paper, cup, and string.
As students build this wind-powered elevator, they are given a hands-on opportunity to learn how wind power works and why it is a valuable source of clean energy.
This resource provides a brief introductory paragraph about the history of wind power and why avoiding fossil fuels benefits our planet.
Many students will be able to complete this project individually or in a small group due to the clear directions and diagrams.
This video provides a demonstration of the activity that can be used as an accompaniment to the PDF provided in this resource.
This project requires materials that can be found in most classrooms but instead of using a plastic straw, try using a half-sheet of paper, rolled up and taped.
The materials list does not include shoe boxes but teachers may choose to forego this part of the project and use the "elevator" over the side of a desk or table.
Teachers might provide these step-by-step directions to students who are strong readers and have them pair up with students of different abilities.
For younger learners, teachers may choose to create a demonstration elevator for students to use as a reference.
Ideas for implementing this activity include having students draw a diagram of the project, having a group discussion, assigning students roles for group work, and creating writing prompts that direct students to demonstrate their learning after project completion.
Other StC resources on this topic include this wind energy and infrastructure interactive map, this TED video called "How I Harnessed the Wind", and this solar oven project.
This resource accompanies a video resource and describes how to construct a wind-powered machine that converts wind power into a mechanical lift. This resource is recommended for teaching.
English Language Arts
Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
2.RI.7 Explain how specific images contribute to and clarify a text.
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
6-8.RST.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
11-12.RST.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
Speaking & Listening (K-12)
1.SL.2 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS.ESS3.4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
ETS1: Engineering Design
3.ETS1.1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
5.ETS1.1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
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.