Wind Power 3.0Spring 2016 Toys
Google buys clean electricity from wind farms, the SC Johnson Company uses wind turbines at its manufacturing plant in South Carolina; Microsoft, Ikea and Walmart use electricity harnessed from the wind. In short, wind - as a power source and an industry - is the country's fastest growing energy industry.
Timely, topical and a breeze to explore, The Wind Power Renewable Energy Science Kit includes components to build and power models, and a well-designed 32 page manual with experiments, lessons, and information about wind as power, as a renewable resource and the surprise hit with our testers: The Beaufort Scale (on the manual's back cover) that details wind speed (km/h and m/s), a one to two word description (calm to hurricane), and the effects on land (no air movement to most severe storm damage and devastation).
First, our testers built the 3 foot tall wind turbine that powers a rechargeable battery. From there, our testers learned that adjusting the angle of the blades and the position of the turbine changed the collection and harnessing of the wind. They then made a fan. After cooling off from their accomplishments to date, they went on to build an electric car, a three-wheeler, an electric helicopter and truck. Building the vehicles prompted discussions ranging from science and weather to politics, and road infrastructure to kitchen appliances. Extended learning at its best.