This activity demonstrates the power of moving water. Older kids will feel a sense of accomplishment in building this water-moving tool. Younger children may need assistance assembling the different pieces in the activity.
What this activity will develop:
Science and thinking skills
What you'll need:
• Styrofoam egg carton
• Styrofoam packing piece
• Large drinking straw
• Four paper clips
• Styrofoam cup
Cut three equal strips from the egg-carton lid. Cut a narrow slot halfway across the middle of each strip. Fit the strips together to form a wheel.
Poke a pencil through the Styrofoam packing piece, making a hole slightly larger than the diameter of the straw.
Cut several deep slits in one end of the straw.
Insert the straw into the Styrofoam block.
Mount the wheel onto the slotted straw end.
Bend each paper clip into an S shape. Hook three clips through the lip of the Styrofoam cup. Use the fourth clip to link the free ends of the other three clips.
Tie one string end to the paper clip.
Tie the other string end through a small hole in the straw.
What to do:
Hold the waterwheel under running water. Watch the force of the water cause the wheel to spin, in turn moving the cup. Encourage kids to alter the pace or flow of the water and watch the results. When they've got an understanding of the relationship of the water to the cup, have them try to figure out how to raise and lower the cup.
Experiment by placing a small amount of weight in the cup and see if the wheel can still move it.