This is a sponsored post written on behalf of School Specialty.
Curious young environmentalists with a love for fans will love building a wind turbine to explore wind as a renewable energy source while learning the physics of force and motion thanks to the Thames & Kosmos Wind Power Renewable Energy Science Kit. The kit contains various parts that can be used to conduct 20 different experiments for ages 8 and up. While building the turbine, they’ll get a hands-on lesson on how mechanical energy can be harnessed to lift weights, learn the physics of wind turbines and experiment with different turbine blades of different materials and weights, and better understand how wind can serve as a source of sustainable energy.
Over the weekend, 8 year old Captain Computer and I sat down to assemble our turbine. We cleared off the kitchen table and opened the bag, spilling 121 different parts across the tablecloth. We examined the pieces and then opened up the direction booklet.
Experiment Manual and Direction Booklet
The Experiment Manual that contains the directions does a nice job of providing lots of background information for kids as they’re getting started with their building. The first 9 pages of the booklet cover topics like air in motion, renewable energy, and windmills of yesterday and today to lead into a section called Your Windmill that prepares kids for building.
I loved the format of the booklet that combines the directions for assembly with non-fiction text that allow kids to understand the importance of what they’re doing as they’re assembling the wind turbine. One side of the booklet contains the experiment with fabulous illustrations while the other side outlines the directions with text and diagrams. While I liked the format as a parent and former educator, all the information was a bit too much for Captain Computer. I think he would have preferred the directions and experiments to occupy two distinct sections of the book, instead of blending together on opposite sides of the page. Emily, my almost 11 year old 5th grader, found it a bit less confusing.
But once the windmill is assembled, the Experiment Manual presents experiments with information that helps kids understand the science behind what they’re doing.
Assembling our wind turbine ended up being a whole family affair. Captain Computer loved assembling the windmill. He read up on the different kinds of blades that were included in the kit and chose the lighter soft plastic blades, rather than the dark blue hard plastic blades.
When he got up from the table to take a break from building, Emily stepped in to put together the components for mounting the fan. She got as far as inserting the gears before my husband wanted to build. He finished the frame and Captain Computer came back to mount the windmill to it and created his own stand.
Experimenting with our Wind Turbine
There are over 20 different experiments that can be done with the Wind Power Renewable Energy Science Kit. The most interesting to Captain Computer after getting everything put together was Experiment 2- The Windmill Lifts a Weight.
In this video, Captain Computer shares his experience with the Wind Power Renewable Energy Science Kit in his own words and shows you how a windmill can be used to lift a weight.
We’ve only had our windmill assembled for a couple days but it’s something that has captivated the kids’ interest. They’ve seen wind turbines at work and now thanks to the Wind Power Renewable Energy Science Kit, better understand how wind can be harnessed as a source of energy.
Depending on the age and skill of your child, this may or may not be a project they can complete independently. We loved doing it as a family activity, where each child took on a part of the building process to share in something that we can use together to better understand the science behind using wind as renewable energy.
The Wind Power Renewable Energy Science Kit retails for $76.45 and is available from School Specialty.
I received the Thames & Kosmos Wind Power Renewable Energy Science Kit from School Specialty to review and was compensated for my time in sharing our family’s experience but all opinions are my own.