Students will learn the engineering design process while exploring wind as a renewable energy source. Your class will design projects to lift a cup of pennies with the power of the wind. The kit includes supplies to build 50 lifts. Participating teams classes can submit their data to an online challenge and/or attend an in-person competition.
The MacGyver Wind Lift STEM Design Challenge is offered at no-cost to schools.
3rd-6th grade students and teachers are invited to participate.
Grade Levels: 3-6
Time Required: Estimated 2-5 class periods, but variable by grade
Recommended Group Size: 2-3 students
Concept Areas: Renewable Energy, Forces & Motion, Scientific Method, Engineering Design Process
Using knowledge of how wind energy works, your class will work in small groups to design blades powering a device to lift a cup of pennies. Through implementing the engineering process, students design, build, test and improve turbine blades. Students will have the opportunity to compete in online or in-person events at the completion of their project.
The MacGyver Wind Lift kit will be sent to you at no cost to your school/district with the following expectations:
After this activity, students should be able to:
Basic Class Kit Contents:
Kit includes supplies for 50 lifts. OEP recommends students work in groups of 2-3.
Materials Not Provided:
MacGyver is a fictional TV character with an extraordinary knack for unconventional problem solving and an extensive bank of scientific knowledge. He would improvise to solve a problem with whatever items he might have in his pockets. MacGyver has become a common term in pop culture and means to make or repair something “in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand.” That is what you will be doing, designing a wind turbine to lift as many pennies as possible using materials from your classroom, home or recycling container.