The Windy Farm - STEM Story and Activity
A beautiful and well crafted tale about how a bit of ingenuity and co-operation can take a challenging situation and turn it into a serious opportunity. Told from the perspective of a young girl whose family is very poor. They live on a windy farm at the top of a hill and one day the wind is so strong that it blows half their house away!
"Never mind" says Grandpa. Follow what happens next as the evil oil baron uncle refuses to help out and the family learn to harness the power of the wind.
This book is a fabulous springboard for discussions about finite and renewable resources as well as the importance of not giving up even when times are very tough.
You can grab a copy here (I have no affiliation) The Windy Farm.
If you've read the book and would like to do a related activity, you can have a go at making these simple pin wheel windmills. Although they won't generate any electricity, there are lots of other talking points for young engineers such as, "how does the wind move the blades?" and "why do we need to make space between the windmill and the pole?".
Gather your supplies:
1. Paper square
3. Long pin
4. Masking tape
5. Paper straw
Here's your simple step by step guide to making a pin wheel:
Step 1: Take a square of paper and mark lines from corner to corner to make an X. Make a small dot on one side of each line as shown above.
Step 2: Draw a 2cm square around the centre
Step 3: Cut from each corner to the outside of the small square
Step 4: Take each of the corners with the dot on them and bring them to the centre. Push a pin through the middle to hold them there.
Step 5: Wrap a piece of masking tape around the pin at the back of the windmill
Step 6: Push the pin through the straw and wrap tape around the end to stop it slipping through.
Your windmill is all done!