Did you know that wind is very important? Wind can shape landforms like mountains through erosion. It can make new plants by blowing their seeds to new places or helping to pollinate existing plants. Birds decide their course because wind can help push them in a certain direction. Sometimes wind can help airplanes and kites in the same way. Wind can also cause bad weather like hurricanes or tornados.
Nowadays, we use wind turbines to create energy. These turbines look like giant, skinny windmills, and are all over the world. When the wind blows, air moves the blades and they begin to turn. When this happens, it starts a generator in the turbine which creates energy. This new energy can power anything electricity can, but it is better for the environment because it does not cause pollution by putting bad things in the air.
To see how wind works for yourself, you can make this pinwheel at home. Like the wind turbines that create energy for us, this pinwheel also works by catching the wind under its blades to spin.
Unsharpened pencil with eraser
Markers or crayons
1. Measure and cut a 4 1/2″ square out of your paper. Decorate the paper with markers or crayons.
2. Place the dime in the middle of the square and trace around it.
3. Cut from each corner towards the center, stopping at the dime’s outline. You should have 4 sections.
4. With your hole punch, punch the top right corner of each section and the center of the dime’s outline.
5. Use the glue stick and put glue around the center hole. Then bring one of the corners to the center and line up the holes. Press down and make them stick together. Continue to put glue on each corner that you place down, this way they can all stick together. Also make sure the holes are always lined up.
6. Carefully take your push pin and put its needle through the holes. Push the needle end through the pencil eraser. Now you have a pinwheel! Go outside and test it out if it’s windy. If not, try blowing on it or putting it in a room that has a fan or air vent.
Other than moving our pinwheels, shaping the land, making plants, helping animals and providing new energy for us, wind can also be fun! Starting Saturday, the Museum’s new exhibit Air Fair will show us the power of wind and more exciting things it can do. To learn more about wind energy, visit Energy Kids.