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Screen shot from The Solutioneers Episode 9

Screen shot from The Solutioneers Episode 9

The Solutioneers Week 9: Renewable Energy

This week's episodes and hands-on activity explore renewable energy.

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On this episode of The Solutioneers, Riley, Ava, Kat, and Gwen have to complete a final step before presenting their project: incorporate an aspect of renewable energy into their robot. They start working on a solar panel power system for their robot.

Riley, Ava, Kat, and Gwen have to complete a final step before presenting their project: incorporate an aspect of renewable energy into their robot. They start working on a solar panel power system for their robot.

And on Future Minds, David Hewlett chats with Marina Ilyas about her project “Go green, drive clean” which analyses routing on GPS apps to assess if there are more fuel efficient if not faster ways to commute.

David Hewlett chats with Marina Ilyas about her project “Go green, drive clean” .

Now it's your turn!

Solutioneers Episode 9 header bar
Solutioneers Episode 9 activity

Design and build a device that lifts objects using the power of wind!

Download the activity as a [PDF]

WHAT DO YOU NEED?

  • Small, lightweight object (to use as a load to lift)
  • Tools: tape, scissors pencil and paper
  • Materials: Recycled paper and/or sticky notes, string, drinking straws, craft sticks, recycled cardboard, fine yarn or thread, pipe cleaners, etc.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

  1. Draw a design on paper of a wind-powered elevator that can lift a small load. Label the parts of your design.
  2. Build your wind-powered elevator. Keep in mind that the elevator should be totally wind-powered. The load is lifted only by blowing on the structure.
  3. Test it out!
  4. Make modifications until you get it to work.
Wind elevator set up 1
Wind elevator set up 1
Wind elevator set up 2
Wind elevator set up 2

Did you know?

A wind turbine is a device that converts the movement of the wind (kinetic energy) into electrical energy.

WHAT’S THE POINT?

You have just used a renewable source of energy to power your elevator - moving air! Energy from the wind, the Sun, and moving water are all forms of renewable energy. 

Perhaps you have seen wind turbines starting to dot the countryside or shoreline in your region? Wind energy along with other renewable energy sources are helping to meet the growing energy demands in our world. They also reduce the need to burn coal and other fossil fuels for energy. Wind turbines will generate electricity as long as the wind is blowing. They do not produce greenhouse gases while they are operating. This is good for the Earth!

WHAT ELSE?

Check out these cool careers that involve renewable energy:

Learn more about renewable energy in these articles:

Try this:

  • Modify your elevator design to lift a heavier object or more than one object at a time.
  • Here is a simple way to make a pinwheel to catch the wind:
Pinwheel template step 1
Cut out a square and cut into the middle from each corner. Fold one point towards the middle.
Pinwheel template step 2
Fold the remaining points towards the centre. Hold points to the back with a pin or paperclip.

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