Wind is simply air in motion. It is caused by the uneven heating of the Earth's surface by the sun. Wind energy can be used to generate electricity. Wind is a renewable energy source because the wind will blow as long as the sun shines.
Like old fashioned windmills, today’s wind machines turbines use blades to collect the wind’s kinetic energy. The wind flows over the blades creating lift, like the effect on airplane wings, which causes the blades to turn. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator to produce electricity.
KISS stands for “Keep it Simple Students” and that is our goal – to make a kit as simple as possible to teach kids about wind energy, and its importance. With our kits you can either build a simple direct drive turbine or a more challenging geared turbine.
KISS kits are available to buy or borrow.
To borrow our KISS Kit fill out a loan form. you may keep them up to 4 weeksand then return them through mail or drop-off.
To purchase car kits fill out an order form and indicate it is for purchase. (KISS kits are $15 each)
Each kit includes:
- One motor with wires attached
- One plastic propeller
- Four different gears
- Four eye-screws to screw motors
- One 6” PVC tube
- One PVC “ T ” for geared turbines
- One PVC “ L “ for direct drive turbines
- One pair of wires with alligator clips on both ends
- One LED
- One LED board
- Three 4.25” axles
- Two O-rings
- One screw
- One blade holder
- Six pony beads
- Turning assembly
- Instruction Manuel
- Pinwheel Construction Instructions
Other materials that should be available for construction:
- Hair dryer or fan
- Multi meter
- Model turbines for design ideas
Explore the principles of propeller design with a “Best Blade” competition. Compare the 2, 3 and blades for efficiency. Each one is unique in its own way. Determine the best angle or “pitch”. Learn how solidity affects performance.
With each kit you get 8 new kind of blades
Our little secret: Some work better when the wind blows from the back!
The basic Kestrel unit (Model 1000) measures average, maximum or current wind speed. With this device kids can measure their own wind speed and compare it to the wind outside with the help of a Beaufort scale. The Beaufort scale also explains the optimum speed for the working of a wind turbine. Kids love competing among themselves to beat the highest score ( Our highest at present is a 75.2mph a Hurricane).
Beaufort scale – Discover wind speed by observing motion in the environment
How windy are you? - Explore how much wind is needed to power a wind turbine (see the video below)
Wind Power FUNdamentals - A great powerpoint slide that creates a perfect lesson plan for wind energy (activities included)
Check out these websites from the Danish Wind Industry Association:
- Guided Tour - An excellent catalog of easy to read wind information
- Wind with Miller - A fun, educational website about wind energy
We recommend these activities from NEED.org:
- The Tale of Windy Wizard - A great story for younger students, check out the other materials too!
- These terrific graphics for the Windy Wizard story came from Molly Weber. Thank you for sharing!
- Harry Spotter and the Chamber of Windy Myths - Page 4 of the newsletter has a great short play.
Wind Power Calculator - A display we use to teach about wind energy
Kiss the Wind Videos!
How to make a geared drive wind turbine
How to make a kabob propeller.
How to make a pinwheel propeller.
How to test the Wind Turbine.
How to make a Direct Drive Wind Turbine
What can I do with my Wind Kit?
Our other Wind Videos:
How to use a multi meter to test voltage
Kestrel manual - Instructions for the wind meter we prefer to use.
KidWind - Equipment and curriculum about wind energy
Queensland activities for Wind Power