Hydroelectricity Demonstration

This Instructable demonstrates the sixteenth standard of technological literacy, which states that students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use energy and power technologies. The project addresses these standards and benchmarks by showing a demonstration of how water can be manipulated and used in abstract ways to move objects as well as create energy and power. The project is designed for students in grades 9-12.

In this Instructable, students will:

- Create a device to demonstrate how to use water for hydroelectric power

- Develop an understanding and be able to select and use energy and power technologies

This is a simple project that makes for an easy to understand demonstration.

Step 1: Material Preparation

First begin by gathering and preparing all materials for the project.

You will need:

- 2 dowel bearings

- windmill bearing

- 2 gears

- 1 wheel

- thin rod/stick

- Popsicle sticks

- water

- container for runoff water

- glue/adhesive

Estimated Cost:

- $15-20 depending on material of windmill/wheel/bearings

Step 2: The Frame

Next, we will prepare the Popsicle sticks for building the frame of the device, which will be used later.

Take three of the Popsicle sticks and glue them together in the shape shown in image 1. Repeat this to have two frames that will hold the device in place and upright later.

Next, take the dowel bearing and glue it to the center of one of the Popsicle sticks (Image 2). This will be used to hold up the rod that goes inside the wheel to let it spin. Make another one, as there will be another used later.

Step 3: Spinning Mechanism

The next step is to take the rod or stick and cut a piece of to be put inside the dowel bearing that the wheel will spin on. Measure (or take a rough guess) of how long the center hole of the wheel is and cut the rod to that length (ours was roughly 1.5 inches). Cut another one for the opposite side that will be longer (ours was roughly 1.75 inches).

After it is cut, glue the smaller one in the first bearing.


It is important that the circumference of the rod is the same as the circumference of the inside of the bearing.

Step 4: Windmill Creation

Next step is to create the windmill that will be moving to show the effect of hydroelectricity.

Take three Popsicle sticks and cut them in half. This will leave us with six "blades" for the windmill, but you will only use five (Image 1).

Take one of the gears and glue it to the top of the windmill bearing (Image 2).

Glue the Popsicle sticks equidistant from each other around the windmill bearing (Image 3).

Step 5: The Wheel and Construction

Next, take the other gear and glue it to the top of the wheel (image 1). This will turn against the first gear to rotate the windmill.

For construction, following image 2's structure, place the 2 frames parallel and glue them together via the two Popsicle sticks with the dowel bearings on them. Place one of them slightly higher on the frame than the other.

Glue the windmill bearing and blade piece that was created onto the higher frame bar (use image 2 as reference).

Slide the wheel onto the lower frame bar (but do not glue it) insuring that the side with the gear is facing away from the frame bar it's being put onto. Make sure both gears are locked via the teeth of the gears so that when one turns, the other moves as well.

Step 6: Water!

Place the device in a container to not make a mess with the water, and test the device by pouring water over the wheel (see video).



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    10 days ago

    Nice project! Did you design the 3D printed parts? I like this, and if you designed those parts, it would be great to include the files for other readers. If you didn't design them, but they are available publicly you could include a link to where they are from. Keep it up! : )