A very, VERY small turbine

Timlynn Babitsky | Wind for Kids | Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

by Timlynn Babitsky
A fully functioning, electricity-producing wind turbine standing only 8 inches tall? The PicoTurbine teaches wind energy concepts to kids from grade 5 to adult. It’s been used by major universities like MIT and Caltech for summer youth programs, comes with teacher’s guide and more.

PicoTurbine is the only kit of its kind to demonstrate the power of wind as a renewable energy resource. The instructor’s guide contains classroom ideas and experiments, as well as technical notes for older children or adult experimenters.

The turbine directly drives a permanent magnet brushless alternator that you build. All the parts are included in the kit. This kit has been built by thousands of kids worldwide for science fairs, science reports, homeschool projects, and just plain fun! The Pico Turbine folks say there is “No other kit like it in the world.”

As a grade 6-9 teacher from many years ago and a social activist in support of wind energy today – this kit sounds really exciting. I haven’t had a hands-on test of the PicoTurbine myself, but from everything I see on line at the PicoTurbine website the kit looks like a great educational resource for teachers, parents and kids as well. If any of you have used this kit – tell us what you think.

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