Friday, January 21, 2011

This Week: Wind and Cold!

This week our family made a windmill using a recycled plastic bottle and a windmill kit. When the kids held it in front of the fan at high speed, the wind generated enough power for the small light bulb to light. It was a great experiment to add to our Energy unit.
I then brought the kids to see a real wind turbine in Anoka. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get as close as we would have liked due to the snowy drive leading up to it. It was breezy that day but the wind turbine was not turning. Still, the kids enjoyed seeing it.
Last winter, in the paper, the turbine was mentioned because people wondered why it wasn't spinning. According to the Star Tribune, "The refurbished, 115-foot towers had operated on a California wind farm, where they didn't have to worry about cold hydraulic fluid turning to gel and oil lubricants getting too sluggish."

Today, Minnesota's below zero weather made for a fun experiment. We threw boiling water into the cold air and watched as it immediately turned to vapor in the less than -11 air. Then Ava blew some bubble to see what would happen to them. The bubbles floated a few feet before popping, leaving little frozen bits on the snow. One landed on the front step and froze in a perfect sphere. Ava popped it with her finger and the pieces are still frozen there.
At least something good came out of today's frigid weather!


  1. I absolutly love this blog!! This is so cool!

  2. What a great project! We just may have to build a windmill at the Hill house. I've thought about trying bubbles in this cold weather too. That is a cool picture.

  3. Thanks! Both are things I hadn't ever done beofore either! I think I'm learning as much as the kids sometimes ;)