How to Make a Wind Turbine for a School Project?

Global warming is a common concern these days and that’s why people are becoming more interested in environment-friendly innovations. The wind turbine is by far one of the most effective steps toward making green energy source.

Building a wind turbine can be a smart option to choose for school science projects. Don’t freak out, building one with cardboard and DC motor isn’t that tough. You can build a wind turbine for your upcoming school project within a very short time and create a unique and smart impression on the visitors.

Materials You Will Need

  • A large piece of cardboard for cutting pieces of different dimensions
  • Scissor
  • A DC motor
  • Hot glue gun
  • A low resistance LED light
  • Tape
  • A plywood board
  • Positive and negative wires
  • An external wind source, ex. a table fan

Building a Wind Turbine for a School Project

1. We are going to make the rotor first. To do that, cut 4 circle cardboard pieces of about 3cm each. Glue all of them and stick them together. You need to make a thick circle with all four pieces. So, each piece needs to stick with another on the top.

2. Then, glue on the side of that large circle cardboard piece and wrap with a thin paper. Make sure to cut the paper according to the diameter of the circle.

It’s time to make the blades. Take the cardboard and cut 4 small pieces from it. The dimension for all four pieces is 8cm X 2.5cm.

These four pieces will be glued on the circle cardboard piece. So, you need to make one end of these pieces round shape so that they perfectly fit the circle shaped rotor.

Now, slightly bend all four pieces from the middle and make them slightly round shaped like the blades of original turbines. Glue all of them to the rotor and leave it to dry.

3. Now, let’s make the tower. Take a thin portion of the cardboard paper of 30cm x 12cm. Use a pen or a round stick and wrap the paper around it. Glue the end of the paper and pull the pen out.

4. Take the DC motor that you collected before. You need to wrap the motor with 2 pieces of cardboard. The first piece for placing the motor on, and the second one to wrap the motor from its top. Make sure the pointy part of the motor stays completely outside of the cardboard pieces.

Now, take the rotor with four blades and make a small hole in the middle. The pointy part of the motor needs to be mounted to this hole.

5. Connect the negative and positive wires to the motor using a hot gun. Be sure to leave the wires long enough to connect a LED light on the other ends.

Now, glue the bottom part of the cardboard piece that is holding the motor and attach the tower to it. Leave it for 15 minutes to dry.

6. When the tower is properly glued to the upper part of the turbine, then take initiatives for the base. Make a square piece from the cardboard with having a hole big enough to attach the tower’s bottom to it. Apply glue around the bottom of the tower and attach it to the base that you have just prepared.

7. You are done with the wind turbine. Now, you need to make a house with cardboard that will have the LED light inside. The dimensions of the house are up to you.

Make 4 pieces of cardboard to make the walls of the house. Cut 3 windows on 3 pieces and only 1 door on the wider one which will be on the front side of the house. The last piece will have not cuttings for window and door whatsoever, and it will be on the back wall of the house.

Glue all 4 pieces and attach them to each other to make walls for the house. Now, cut another piece of cardboard for the roof but don’t glue it to the walls right now.

8. Take the LED light and connect the wires properly. Stick the light close to the front window of the house with a piece of tape. Now, glue the top of the four walls to attach the roof on them. You can either make the roof with a flat cardboard piece or make the roof as a triangle shape with 2 pieces of cardboard.

Place the house in a thick layer of cardboard and glue it to make stable.

9. Now, take a plywood board and properly glue the tower base holding the entire turbine. Glue the house to the plywood as well. Connect the wires of both motor and LED light with each other.

10. And finally, place a table fan while maintaining a safe distance from the turbine. Turn the fan on, the wind will make the blades rotate. The LED light will turn on when there will be enough wind to power it.

Final Words

Surely, you are going to impress the visitors with the cardboard wind turbine. Once you master how to make a turbine using cardboard, further you will be able to make more turbines using even harder materials such as PVC pipes and fittings.

Wishing you all the best for your upcoming school project.
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  • Updated August 6, 2022