How to Make a Wind Turbine for a School Project?

The way to reduce the carbon footprint is to use fuel sources that do not involve burning fossil fuels. Wind energy is a good alternative to coal and oil.

Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to global warming, and that raises Earth’s temperatures and brings about droughts, floods, and hurricanes.

Wind has the smallest carbon footprint of any energy source. Therefore, using a wind turbine enables you to do your part in protecting our planet.

It’s good for kids to understand wind turbines, and that’s what we will focus on in this article. We will teach you how to make a great wind turbine for a school project.

Difference between Wind Turbine and Windmill

It is necessary that we first establish the difference between a wind turbine and windmill, as some may be unable to distinguish between the two.

A windmill is a structure that takes wind energy and converts it directly into mechanical energy which is subsequently used for tasks such as milling grain or pumping water (typically what windmills are used for on farms).

A wind turbine, on the other hand, takes wind energy and converts it into electricity which is transmitted over power lines, stored in batteries, or for powering electrical equipment.

How a Wind Turbine Works

The parts of a wind turbine are essentially the same as those found in a simple electrical motor. The difference is that functionality is opposite: while the motor uses electrical current to create motion, a wind turbine uses motion to generate electrical current.

The wind turbine features two or three propeller-like blade which are turned by the wind around a rotor which is connected to the main shaft, which in turns causes a generator to spin and create electricity.

If you want to learn more about works of wind turbine then read: How Does a Wind Turbine Work?

Making the Wind Turbine

Things You Will Need:

  • 3 PVC pipes – one should be about 30 cm long while the others must be at least 15 cm long
  • 1 PVC elbow joint
  • 3 PVC T-joints
  • About 2-feet long wire
  • Motor
  • Wire cutters
  • Hub (the component of the wind turbine that connects the blades to the main shaft)
  • Multimeter
  • Scissors
  • Alligator clips
  • Wood dowels
  • Fan or hair dryer
  • Tape
  • Material that can be used for blades – for instance aluminum foil, popsicle sticks, balsa wood, and construction paper


  • Take the 15-cm PVC pipe and insert it through the middle hole of the PVC T-joint. Do this again with the second 15-cm PVC pipe and second T-joint. Note these are two separate pieces.
  • Combine the two pieces by inserting the free ends of the pipes.
  • Take the third and remaining PVC pipe and insert it into the upward-facing T-joint hole. The intention is for this PVC pipe to stand upright.
  • Now take the third and remaining T-joint and add it to the tower’s free end.
  • After attaching two wires to the motor, insert the motor into the joint at the tower’s top. Ensure the wires run down the tower pipe, emerging through one of the T-joints at the base. If necessary, secure the motor with duct tape.
  • The hub is a plastic, round piece. Attach it to the straight, metal piece that’s on the outside of the motor.
  • Use the alligator clips to connect the wires to the multimeter and set it to 20 volts.
  • Insert some small, wooden dowels, into the hub’s holes. Generate some wind with a fan or hair dryer and monitor the multimeter to see the amount of energy generated.
  • With a variety of materials, create your own different blades which will spin and power your wind turbine. Take good care that the blades have appropriate weight and smoothness of surface.  Use tape to attach your blades to the dowels.
  • Now that you have made the wind turbine, test each blade you have made by once more turning on a fan or hair dryer. The point is to see which blade material has the best electrical output. In addition, you should test your wind turbine with varying wind speeds: using high, medium, and low fan settings. This will help you find out if the speed of the wind has any effect on electrical energy output.
  • List Element

Parts of a Wind Turbine

1. Rotor Blades - They are like the structure’s sails. The wind causes the rotors to move, transferring some of its kinetic energy to them.

2. Shaft – It is connected to the rotor’s center. As the rotor spins, the shaft spins too. As a result, the rotor transfers the mechanical, rotational energy to the shaft – and on the other end is the electrical generator.

3. Generator- The generator comprises magnets and a conductor (usually a coiled wire). On the inside of the generator, the shaft connects to the permanent magnets which surround the coil of wire. The spinning of the rotor causes the shaft to spin, which I turn causes the spinning of the assembly of magnets, and that generates voltage in the coil of wire (that is the conductor).

Types of Wind Turbines

Modern ones fall into two basic classifications.

1. Horizontal-Axis Turbines – They are the most common type of wind turbine and are what many people typically think about when wind turbines are mentioned. They are three-bladed and operated “upwind”, with the turbine pivoted at the tower’s top, ensuring the blades face the wind.


2. Vertical-Axis Turbines – These are omni-directional turbines. That means that for them to operate they do not require any adjustment to make them point into the wind.


Final Verdict

By following the simple steps provided here, you can create a wind turbine for a school project all on your own. With this wind turbine, you can start to understand more about kinetic energy and its transformation into electricity.

What you have made is of course just a model for the sake of learning. The ones used to generate anywhere between 100 kilowatts of energy or as much as several megawatts are large structures. Larger wind turbines, when put together in “wind farms” supply bulk power to the electrical grid.

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