Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Water Wheel}

This week Frannie is going to show you how to create your own water wheel and learn about hydropower! Hydropower is the power derived from the energy of falling water or fast running water. This power can be used for a number of activities, including powering machines and also generating electricity.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Two paper plates
  • One straw
  • Seven Dixie Cups
  • Small magnet
  • Masking tape
  • Push pin
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • String
  • "Recycle me" label
  • Bucket
  • Water

Here's what you do:

1. Start by placing the two paper plates back to back. You may find it helpful to loosely tape the plates together to keep them even.

2. Use the push pin to punch a hole in the middle of the two paper plates. Increase the size of the hole by pushing the pen tip through the hole. Then, use the scissors to make the hole large enough to hold a straw.

3. Using the masking tape, tape seven Dixie Cups around the edge of the two plates. The Dixie Cups should have about half an inch between them.

4. Create a "Recycle me" label and place it on the outside of the wheel. In order to recycle the wheel, you will need to separate the pieces.

5. Place a straw through the center hole and secure it with tape.

6. Take a piece of string about three feet long and tie a magnet to the end of the string. Tie the other end of the string tightly around the straw as close to the center of the plates as possible.

7. Thread a long piece of string through the straw. Have two Girl Scouts hold the string at either end.

8. Place the water wheel over the bucket. Make sure the magnet is not hitting the ground or the bottom of the bucket.

9. Pour the water into the Dixie Cups.

10. Watch as the water wheel spins and the magnet begins to lift off the ground.

Discussion Questions:
  • What happens to the wheel when the water flows quickly?
  • What happens when the rate of the water flow is reduced?
  • What would happen if the weight of the magnet increased?
  • What are some variables that affect the amount of weight that can be lifted by the water wheel?
Share pictures of your Girl Scout troop with their water wheels!