Horizontal Windmills

Wow! This past week I left Girls Science Club smiling and thinking, “that is exactly how girls science club should be”. Jess planned an awesome activity designing horizontal windmills. The activity was pretty free form. We gave out supplies (a wooden stick, a styrofoam ball, thin popsicle sticks, index cards, and tape) and said, “design a windmill”.


Here are some things that made this week so amazing:

  • Confidence: At the beginning of girls science club, I was working with a girl who spoke very little english. She was extremely hesitant to participate in the activity, so I  helped her make some blades. After some work, she was the first girl to get her windmill spinning. Everyone in the room clapped and cheered when she got it to work! She had the biggest smile on her face and spent the rest of the hour testing different blades and helping other girls get their windmills spinning.
  • Teamwork: Everyone was helping each other position the blades to get the windmills spinning. The blades needed to be able to catch the wind and spaced evenly enough so that the windmill didn’t get stuck.
  • Creativity: All of the windmill blades looked different. There was even a windmill with star shaped blades! And a “cat themed” windmill!

By the end of the activity, there was a consensus that larger blades spin faster and that the blades worked best if they were perpendicular to the wind. Overall, this was a great activity that kept everyone engaged for the entire hour.



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