Today we can see big modern wind turbines scattered across the landscape but did you know that the first windmills were developed to automate the tasks of grain-grinding and water-pumping and the earliest-known design is the vertical axis system developed in Persia about 500-900 A.D.
This challenge is designed to get you to discover as much as you can about windmills and wind turbines.
There are a number of resources and images provided to get you started and the following focus questions can help to guide your research. Some of the questions only need a short answer- others will require you to 'dig deep' into the information provided.
Some questions to get you started...
What is the definition of a windmill?
When were the first windmills created?
What is the difference between a windmill and a wind turbine?
What have been some of the uses of windmills over the centuries?
What is the main use of windmills / wind turbines today?
Which countries are the greatest users of wind turbines today?
Where is the biggest wind turbine and how big is it?
What are some the benefits of using wind turbines to generate power /energy?
What is the most interesting thing you have found out about wind turbines?
What do you see are the biggest advantages of using wind turbines?
What is the Moving Windmills Project and who is William Kamkwamba?
Resources to help you
The following images show you a range of different windmill types.These images are all Creative Commons or "Free to use and share".
Wind Turbine (Wikipedia)
The Illustrated History of Wind Power Development
The History of Wind Energy
Timeline:The history of wind power
The Windmill (Encyclopedia.com)
How do wind turbines work?
Moving Windmills Project?