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Design Quest: Build The future | Two happy girls experimenting at the Wind Works station

How can you spin a turbine?

In Wind Works, you can design a wind turbine that turns wind into electricity, or one that generates mechanical power to lift weights. Choose from four blade shapes to configure a turbine with up to six blades. Turn on the fans and then test your design in the wind. How did it work?

Did your wind turbine spin super-fast? How many LEDs did you light up on the power graph? What happens when you adjust the angle of the blades? Are you able to tweak your turbine to improve its performance?

If you were testing mechanical power, how many weights were you able to lift? Can you lift more weights? Use the stopwatch to see if you can lift the same amount, but faster!

Wind naturally occurs on our planet when air from an area of high pressure moves to an area of low pressure. People have used wind power for thousands of years to do work like milling wheat with a windmill or sailing ships across vast oceans. Now, with contemporary turbine designs, we are able to harness the power of the wind as it moves over hills and valleys to generate electricity. This electricity is used to power homes, businesses, and industry. Experts predict that with the current growth of wind power, one third of the world’s electricity needs will be met by wind power by 2050 (Source: National Geographic).