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Wednesday Challenge: 8th July

Make a Water Wheel  

Equipment for 1 water wheel

2x sturdy paper plates

Ruler and pencil

Plastic tub

Length of dowel longer than the width of the tub


Sticky tape

Recycled plastic cups, pots or paper cups

Permanent marker


Jug or watering can



To Make the Water Wheel

1. Measure and mark the centre of the two paper plates.

2. Perforate the plates with a pencil at the marks.

3. Push the dowel through the two plates.

4. Staple a minimum of three cups snugly between the two plates.

5. The cups should be evenly spaced and all facing the same direction.

6. Mark one of the cups prominently with a permanent marker.

7. Balance the wheel width-ways across the tub.



Steadily pour the water from a jug into the top cup of the water wheel and watch it begin to rotate as the water flows. Count how many rotations the wheel makes using 1 litre of water. Use the marked cup to keep track of rotations. Experiment by changing the height and speed of the flow of water. What difference does a faster flow make?



You could attempt to harness the energy from your wheel attaching a string and a small weight to the shaft to see how much weight the mechanism can lift.