Let's Find Out, the science show from RTÉjr, has another great experiment for you to try.
The show is made with our friends at Science Foundation Ireland and is hosted by scientists Mark and Amy who are on board the spaceship Curiosity - captained by a furry named Zoom!
Zoom loves wind but she wants to know how you can "catch the wind" to make energy. So Daire and Siofra show Zoom how a mini turbine can make enough electricity to power a light.
You can download the lesson plan here...
Make sure you have adult supervision carrying out any science experiment!
You will need:
- A mini wind turbine kit. The ones in the show belong to Learn Renewables. They can be purchased online.
- Coloured card (provided)
- Scissors - always have an adult present!
- A strong hair dryer or fan.
What to do:
- The firefly mini turbine should already be assembled as follows…the generator and LED light are inserted into the green handle.
- Firstly, try the blue plastic wind wheel, push the blade onto the end of the generator.
- Hold the wind wheel facing a wind source, like a hair dryer or fan and turn it on.
- Does the LED bulb light up? If not, increase the wind source or try another one.
- Next try the yellow wind wheel provided… remove the blue blade and replace it with the red adaptor and white cap.
- Remove the white cap, push the yellow wind wheel onto the red adaptor and replace the white screw cap.
- Make sure that each right hand corner is folded upwards.
- Hold the firefly directly in the line of the air source (a hair dryer or fan) and turn on the air source.
Does the LED light come on?
If the LED Light doesn’t come on you may need to modify the blades on the wind wheel, this time fold the left hand corners down.
Now try it again. Does it work this time?
Once you get this working you can make your own blades from the coloured card provided. You can make them bigger or smaller or different shapes. Use the pen, ruler and scissors to make help make your wind wheels.
The science bit:
These fireflies use wind power to generate electricity that powers the LED light bulb. You can provide the wind power from a hair dryer or fan.
With enough wind power, and just the right shape of blade, the wind wheel starts turning really fast. This turning turns a rod inside the generator and this movement is converted into electrical power inside the generator, which is used to light the light bulb.
*NOTE: If you can’t get enough rotation from your wind source, see if you can try another one or change the wind wheel.
For more information on courses run for teachers by Learn Renewables CLICK HERE