Science Project Idea: Create Your Own Solar-Powered Fan

Our mission requires us to educate the public about the harmful effects of air pollution and about cleaner sources of energy. You might say we’re big “fans” of clean energy like wind and solar — and science in general! We’re always looking for creative ways to teach kids about air pollution, health, and renewable energy.

One of our fall interns, Vaishali, found this video (above) that shows how to make a simple and efficient personal fan using solar energy! So she assembled a list of materials and equipment and wrote out the step-by-step instructions. This is a great classroom project for science teachers and science clubs. We created an Amazon Shopping List for anyone interested in trying it out. The materials cost about $32.The equipment will run about $25, but you should be able to borrow a hot glue gun and/or soldering kit if you don’t already have one of your own.

Teachers: Feel free to reach out to Michael Hansen (205-701-4270, michael@gaspgroup.org) if you’d like us to come to your classroom for a project like this one!

Materials

  • 3V Solar Panel
  • 12V Small DC Motor
  • Small Propeller
  • Styrofoam blocks
  • A plywood board

Equipment Used

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Soldering Machine

Instructions

  1. Connect the wires on the motor to the solar panel using soldering
  2. Cut two long rectangles of Styrofoam and glue them down to the cardboard with 3 inches separation
  3. Glue the motor to one Styrofoam
  4. Glue the solar panel to the other Styrofoam facing towards the sun
  5. Attach the propeller to the motor
  6. Congrats! You’re done!

SHOP FOR SUPPLIES

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Michael joined Gasp in 2013 as communications specialist. He has lived in Birmingham since 2008, and is an active member of the Birmingham community. He's a passionate advocate for health equity, civil rights and equality. He is currently serving as executive director. Email Michael
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