Windy Engineering: Designing Wind Turbine Blades

Wind turbines are an increasingly common sight as you drive around in the Michigan countryside. So long as the wind is blowing at an appropriate speed, these devices are able to transform the wind's kinetic energy (which isn't all that useful to people) into electrical energy (which is). In this project, you'll be designing turbine blades, the large aerofoils that catch the wind and transfer its kinetic energy to the electrical generator. It'll be your job to decide how they should look, how they should be positioned around the turbine's hub, and even how many there should be.

The Standards

This project is designed to meet Michigan's HS-ETS1-1, HS-ETS1-2, and HS-ETS1-3 engineering standards, along with many of ISTE's Student standards. For more information, you can read our standards summary document, Michigan's standards document, and the ISTE's standards page.

The Rubric

The best design won't just have to be good at generating electricity. It's also important to have wind turbine blades that are durable (so they don't break) and that use as little material as possible (so they're not too expensive to make). You'll also need to be able to work with your teammates, and understand your test results well enough to explain them to others. You can see the full rubric that your teacher will use to grade your project here.

Important Links

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