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Frame the wind

Find out how renewable energies help us create a better world.

You will need

  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Paper cups
  • Drawing pins
  • Clean, empty plastic bottles (two litres)
  • Thick cardboard
  • Pencils with erasers on the ends
Energy sources
PDF – 299.4KB
A collection of different means of generating energy; including, coal, oil, wind power, sun power, water turbines, biomass plants and gas.

Before you begin

  • Print and cut out the images in ‘Energy sources’. Make sure there are multiple copies of each picture.
  • Hide the images around your meeting place.

Find the energy sources

  1. Everyone should get into small groups and hunt for the pictures of energy sources that have been hidden.
  2. Everyone should talk about the energy sources they’ve found.
    • How do they work, and are they renewable or non-renewable?
    • Which type of energy is better?
    • Use the energy information sheet to give definitions and more examples.
A diagram of a wind turbine made from a plastic bottle, pencil, wood and some cups.

Build your own wind turbine

  1. Split into small teams. Each team should work together to build a model of a wind turbine, using the diagram to help.
  2. Cut out two identical pieces of cardboard, each one inch wide and seven inches long.
  3. Cross the strips of cardboard at right angles and staple them together in the middle.
  4. Staple a plastic cup to both ends of each strip, taking note of the direction they need to face as shown in the wind turbine diagram. Mark the outside of one of the cups with a cross or dot: you’ll use this to count the rotations so make sure you can see it.
  5. Carefully put a drawing pin through the centre of the cardboard cross and push it into the eraser on the end of a pencil. Gently turn the cross to check that it spins.
  6. Place the pencil into an empty plastic bottle, with the pointed end down. The turbine should stand up on its own.
  7. Every team should take their turbines to various areas and test the wind speed for 60 seconds, counting the number of rotations each time. Challenge the teams to find the most and least windy areas.
  8. Everyone should come back together to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of wind power.

Reflection

This activity helped you to take an active role in society. You’ve learnt about renewable energy, especially wind power, which could help us to clean up our planet. How does a wind turbine create energy from something that we can’t see? What are the advantages of wind power? Can you think of some disadvantages?

This activity also required you to use your practical skills to build a model that spins like a wind turbine. What did your team do to make it work? What skills did you use?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.