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Introduction to Wind Turbines

Experiment #1 from Investigating Wind Energy

Education Level
Elementary School


For thousands of years, people have been using wind energy to do work—from traveling around the world on sailboats to milling grain using windmills. Today, wind is becoming more common as a renewable energy source through the use of wind turbines.

Wind turbines have three basic parts–a tower, blades, and a generator. These parts work together to convert energy from the wind into electrical energy. When the wind blows, it pushes against the blades, causing them to spin. As the blades spin, they cause the generator to turn. The turning of the generator generates electricity, which can be used to light a light bulb or play music on your stereo.


  • Explore how wind turbines can be used to generate electricity.
  • Use electricity generated by a wind turbine to light an LED.
  • Build and understand basic circuits.
  • Verify that energy is transferred by electric currents.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #1 of Investigating Wind Energy. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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