This resource provides the directions for how to build a simple wind-powered elevator using basic materials such as a pencil, paper, cup, and string.
As students build this wind-powered elevator, they are given a hands-on opportunity to learn how wind power works and why it is a valuable source of clean energy.
This resource provides a brief introductory paragraph about the history of wind power and why avoiding fossil fuels benefits our planet.
Many students will be able to complete this project individually or in a small group due to the clear directions and diagrams.
This video provides a demonstration of the activity that can be used as an accompaniment to the PDF provided in this resource.
This project requires materials that can be found in most classrooms but instead of using a plastic straw, try using a half-sheet of paper, rolled up and taped.
The materials list does not include shoe boxes but teachers may choose to forego this part of the project and use the "elevator" over the side of a desk or table.
Teachers might provide these step-by-step directions to students who are strong readers and have them pair up with students of different abilities.
For younger learners, teachers may choose to create a demonstration elevator for students to use as a reference.
Ideas for implementing this activity include having students draw a diagram of the project, having a group discussion, assigning students roles for group work, and creating writing prompts that direct students to demonstrate their learning after project completion.
Other StC resources on this topic include this wind energy and infrastructure interactive map, this TED video called "How I Harnessed the Wind", and this solar oven project.
This resource accompanies a video resource and describes how to construct a wind-powered machine that converts wind power into a mechanical lift. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Science and Engineering
ETS1: Engineering Design
3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
3-PS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.