Which blades are best?

Time Required
1-2 class periods
Students will learn through experimentation how different blade designs are more efficient at harnessing the energy of the wind.


This lesson introduces students to blade design testing. To do this, students will collect, evaluate, and present data about different blade design variables and how they performed in an energy production test. This lesson will give students a firmer grasp on how wind energy is converted into electricity, and how to extract as much energy as possible from the wind.

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • PS3.A Definitions of Energy
  • PS3.C Relationship Between Energy and Forces
  • ETS1.A Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem

Cross Cutting Concepts

  • Cause and Effect
  • Energy and Matter

Learning Objectives

At the end of the lesson students will be able to

  • Understand how wind energy is converted to electricity
  • Know the process of scientific inquiry to test blade design variables
  • Be able to collect, evaluate, and present data to determine which blade design is best
  • Understand the engineering design process method


  • Drill
  • Craft knife or scissors
  • Electrical tape or duct tape
  • Windmill from Lesson 8 (optional)
  • Student reading passages and student worksheets