Wind power challenge - Practical Action


A link to Practical Action's wind power challenge and its related resources, where students are tasked with designing and testing a wind power machine that is cable of lifting weighted objects,
wind-power-challenge RSC Recommended

A link to the teacher and student resources for Practical Action's wind power challenge.


A link to a teacher instruction sheet; student wind turbine poster, which outline different designs and purposes of wind turbines; and certificates for the Practical Action wind power challenge.

If you teach primary science, click the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, including:
    • Finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information.
    • Carrying out comparative and fair tests.
  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated based on their data and observations.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their methods and findings.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Develop their ability to set up simple practical enquiries, comparative and fair tests.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • What is meant by the term ‘renewable source of energy’ in simple terms.
  • Why renewable sources of energy are important, being able to provide several examples.

Suggested activity use

This resource can be used as a whole-class investigation, with the activity run as a fair test. Alternatively, the activity works well when used as part of a school enrichment day.

Children could be given the initial design and then they see what factors might affect its performance in lifting the weight. Children could also be tasked with designing their own device that could lift the weight. This links well with design technology.

Practical considerations

Children may need help with designing and building their devices, and deciding which variables to test.

The designing, building and testing may take several lessons, so a sequence of learning may be required.