Waterwheels and Waterpower Experiment
Learn how waterwheels operate and how they serve as a source of power.
Students will build a waterwheel and use it to conduct a waterwheel experiment.
- A copy of the Experiment Instruction Sheet for each group
- A copy of the Thinking About Your Waterwheel for each student
- One set of materials for each group of students:
- 2 large paper or disposable plastic plates (plastic is better than paper)
- Small paper or plastic cups
- 2 pencils or wooden dowels
- 1 rubber band
- 1 round piece of paper
- A water source, such as a faucet or hose
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- Class Time: 40 minutes
- Divide students into groups of two or three.
- Give each group a copy of the instruction sheet.
- Ask the groups to use the instructions to construct their waterwheels.
- Use the water source to test the waterwheel.
- Ask each group to work together to answer the questions on the “Thinking About Your Waterwheel” sheets.
- Ability to follow directions
- Completed experiment
- Class participation (speaking and listening)
- ELA Standard 1
- Math, Science and Tech. Standard 1
- Math, Science and Tech. Standard 4
NYS Learning Standards:
Vocabulary & Spelling Words:
Bucket – n. a vane or blade of a waterwheel, water turbine, or the like.
Flutter Wheel – n. a waterwheel at the bottom of a chute, turned by the falling water.
Overshot Wheel – n. a waterwheel in which the water enters the buckets near the top of the wheel.
Pelton Wheel – n. a high-pressure water turbine in which one or more jets of water are directed against the buckets of the wheel.
Pitchback Wheel – n. a waterwheel in which the water enters the buckets near the middle of the back of the wheel.
Undershot Wheel – . a waterwheel in which the water hits the buckets near the bottom of the wheel.
Water Turbine – n. a horizontal wheel with vanes or blades enclosed in a box or case and driven by the momentum or the force of water.
Waterwheel – – n. a wheel turned by the weight or momentum of water and used to operate machinery.