Power of Wind Project
Learn about the wind and its uses. Work with members of a team to design, create, build, and test wind powered devices and explore wind as a potential energy source in the community. Start with pinwheels and work your way up to understanding turbines and power distribution across the country.
To view county or local club events, visit the county website.
Wired for Wind
In October of 2011, millions of young people across the nation became scientists for the day when they took part in the fourth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) Experiment, Wired for Wind.
Wired for Wind youth scientists explored how to engineer renewable energy technologies, and the positive impact that they can have in communities across the country and the world. Developed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension program, this experiment engages young people in design, build out and testing of two different wind turbine models. More info
4-H plays a pivotal role in youth development and public education at the Minnesota State Fair. More than 7,000 4-H youth have the opportunity to interact with the public and educate fairgoers through 4-H exhibits, demonstrations, performances, and 4-H promotion. More info.
- Identify the fundamental parts of a windmill, effect of design on performance, energy transfer from wind to usable mechanical energy.
- Observe and record visible effects of the wind and use the Beaufort Scale to estimate wind speed.
- Design and build a wind turbine that can lift a load and create electricity.
- Investigate, engineer, and share a wind-powered machine, vehicle or sculpture.
- Research and analyze data (maps, tables, and written information) to determine how topography and elevation affect wind speeds and identify optimal locations for wind farms based on wind speed.
- Conduct a simple energy audit for the classroom and estimate what size wind turbine could power the classroom under local wind conditions.
- Explore energy related careers.
- Communicate influences of wind and wind machines on daily life using art and literature.
- Identify environmental, economic, and social trade-offs of electrical power generation technologies.
- Explore how media messages impact people’s perceptions of wind energy.
- Power of the Wind Youth Guide (40 pages, $5.50) (Find this in the 4-H Mall)
- Power of the Wind Set of 2 (youth guide & facilitator's guide, 40 pages each, $9.65) (Find this in the 4-H Mall)
- Kid Wind project
- Kid Wind Learn & Teach
- National Energy Education Development project
- Thames & Kosmos Wind Power 2.0 kit (Available from Amazon.com.)
- Thames & Kosmos Alternative Energy and Environmental Science Wind Power kit (Available from Amazon.com.)
Additional objectives and resources
- Measure the approximate wind speed by building a model anemometer.
- Examine wind direction and relative speeds through construction of a wind gauge.
- Demonstrate how to use a wind gauge to determine where the wind blows strongest.
- Compare and contrast measured gauge readings.
- Explore how a wind turbine generates energy.
- Learn what makes a wind turbine work by building one!
- Explore aspects of wind power and potential careers in energy.
Project leader resources
- Power of the Wind Facilitator's Guide ($5.50 (40 pages) (Find this in the 4-H Mall)
- Facilitators' Guide to Materials (431K PDF)
- The Engineering Process and Safety: Managing Turbine Materials and Youth (Video)
- KidWind Turbine Assembly (Video)
- Conducting Investigations: The Inquiry Process (Video)
Activity 1 - Electricity basics
- Activity 1 Guide (542K PDF)
- Activity 1 Parent Letter (435K PDF)
- Activity 1 Handouts (457K PDF)
- Activity 1 Process of Inquiry (173K PDF)
- Electricity Basics (Video)
Activity 2 - Motors, generators & capacitors
Activity 3 - Blade design
- Activity 3 Guide (555K PDF)
- Activity 3 Parent Letter (466K PDF)
- Activity 3 Handouts (79K PDF)
- Activity 3 Process of Inquiry (173K PDF)
- Blade Design (Video)
Activity 4 - Wind turbines at work: Lifts, pumps & lights
- Activity 4 Guide (549K PDF)
- Activity 4 Parent Letter (561K PDF)
- Activity 4 Handouts (79K PDF)
- Activity 4 Process of Inquiry (173K PDF)
- Wind Turbines at Work: Pumps, Lifts & Lights (Video)
Activity 5 - Wind turbines in our community
Record keeping & evaluation
To get involved with the 4-H Power of Wind project, contact your county 4-H office.
Darcy Cole, firstname.lastname@example.org, 320-693-5275
All resources on this page have been reviewed by our faculty and included for their educational value. No endorsement is intended or implied. Minnesota 4-H does not profit from the inclusion of any commercial project resources.