Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Water Wheels

Back when we were exploring ramps, Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean had a great time making a water ramp.  So we decided to have more fun with water by constructing a water wheel as we continue to learn about wheels and axles.  To begin, we researched exactly what a water wheel does and looked at different pictures.  In short, a water wheel creates energy to power another machine by using water to turn an axle. 

First, we had to create the wheel by gluing two plastic plates together. 

Next, cups were taped to the side of the plastic plates.  The cups resembled the buckets on a water wheel.  This was the perfect opportunity to discuss the orientation of the the cups and how they need to be facing the same direction.  We also practiced spatial reasoning as we taped the cups onto the wheel.

Our water wheels are finish.  Now we just need to put an axle in the middle of our wheel.

Once the axle was added, Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean took turns pouring water over the cups to spin the wheel.  After predicting which would be better, pouring water over the open end of the cup or over the bottom of the cup, we came to the conclusion that both worked the same.

Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean right away thought this would be a great Ferris Wheel.  I think that will be our next exploration with wheels!

  • 2 plastic plates
  • 8-10 plastic cups
  • glue
  • tape
  • rod for the axle
  • water
  1. Put glue on the bottom of two plastic plates.
  2. Flip them over on top of each other to create a wheel.
  3. Poke a hole in the center of the wheel for the axle.
  4. Tape plastic cups to the side of the wheel going all the way around.  Make sure the cups are all facing the same direction.
  5. Put the rod through the hole in the center of the wheel to create the axle.
  6. Pour water over the cups of the water wheel.
  7. Watch the wheel spin.


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