How to make a windmill for a school project

Written by jennifer guy
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How to make a windmill for a school project
Create a scaled-down windmill (windmill image by FotoWorx from Fotolia.com)

Build a windmill for a school science project. You can design and construct a windmill using many household items,based on the American wind machine design from the late 19th century, to create electricity. The windmill will generate enough alternating current (AC) to light a small light bulb. If the experiment is indoors, or on a calm day, you will need a small electric fan to create the wind.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 bag of wooden craft sticks
  • 1 tube of wood glue
  • Paper towel tube
  • 1 large nail, 8cm or longer
  • 1 large wooden craft circle
  • Glue gun
  • Small fan to create wind
  • 4 small ceramic block magnets
  • Magnet wire
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Miniature light bulb

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Create the bottom base of the windmill by gluing 10 wooden craft sticks, side-by-side to each other with wood glue.Repeat with another 10 wooden craft sticks, glued side-by-side. Glue the two bases on top of each other, in opposite directions, to make a two-layered bottom.

    How to make a windmill for a school project
    Glue craft sticks to each other (wooden sticks background image by d_j_ang0 from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Create the tower of the windmill by gluing the bottom of the paper towel roll to the centre of the base using wood glue. Ensure the paper towel roll is tightly glued down by adding several coats of glue around the edges of the bottom of the paper towel roll.

    How to make a windmill for a school project
    Use a paper towel tube for your tower (Red Gift Wrapping Paper image by Stacey Alexander from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Push the nail through the top of the paper towel tube leaving an inch of space between the top of the tube and the nail. Spin the nail several times to create a large hole allowing the windmill to easily spin.

    How to make a windmill for a school project
    Push a nail through the top of the windmill tower (nail image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Glue a large craft circle to the head of the nail using a glue gun.

    How to make a windmill for a school project
    Use a glue gun to glue the wooden craft circle to the nail (Hot glue gun isolated image by Marek Kosmal from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Glue six wooden craft sticks to the back of the wooden circle spaced evenly apart creating the fan blades.

  6. 6

    Test the windmill's spinning capability by pointing the fan toward your windmill and turning it on.

    How to make a windmill for a school project
    Test your windmill with a fan (industrial fan image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)
  1. 1

    Attach two magnets to each side of the nail inside the paper towel tube. Wrap the entire roll of magnet wire around the top of the paper towel tube, surrounding the nail hole without covering it up. Tape down the magnet wire leaving both ends loose by about three inches.

    How to make a windmill for a school project
    Tape to secure the magnet wire (plastic tape image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Cut back the plastic covering of both ends of the wire by at least one inch. Make sure all the covering is scraped off, exposing the copper coloured wire.

    How to make a windmill for a school project
    Use scissors to cut back the plastic covering the magnet wire ends (scissors image by Mitch DiMauro from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Twist each end of magnet wire around each end of the light bulb wire tightly.

  4. 4

    Test the windmill by turning on the fan which should spin the windmill blades and light the light bulb.

    How to make a windmill for a school project
    Turn on the light bulb by creating windmill energy (light bulb image by Photosani from Fotolia.com)

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