Cover image
Lesson

Hydropower Inventions

Strawbees Team

In this lesson learn about the various mechanical inventions for laborious tasks eventually turning to utilize running water sources as renewable hydropower for a community. Students will create a mill and pour water over the wheel in a place where water can be collected and reused to power the movement to simulate a historical invention for grinding wheat and grains.

9-14+
45m
:
United States 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Earth and Human Activity
Energy
Engineering Design
Renewable Energy
SDGs
Student Journal
Guide - Simple Machines and Linkages

Overview and Objectives

Lesson Structure

When students go through this lesson in each section the objectives they will learn are:

  • Warm-up – Recognize that inventors solve problems to make the world a better place.
  • Imagine – Explain how the iterative nature of design aims to continually improve human life through the watermill invention.
  • Create – Experiment with friction to create a mechanical invention that spins in water.
  • Build – Build a water-powered mechanical invention to propel a grindstone.
  • Reflect – Reflect on potential inventions such as the waterwheel to solve big problems in the world and how to improve hydropower with water conservation efforts.
  • Challenges – Extend water-related prototypes through open-ended challenges that link to Sustainable Development Goals.

After this lesson students will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of inventions and inventing in human society.
  • Explore old mechanical inventions using water power as a source of renewable energy for laborious tasks.
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric power.
  • Experiment with friction to create a spinning machine to move a structure to simulate a grindstone for grain.
  • Invent a design to address the Sustainable Development Goals.

Structure

When starting Hydropower Inventions, you will be able to:

  • Recognize that inventors solve problems to make the world a better place.
  • Explain how the iterative nature of design aims to continually improve human life through the watermill invention.
  • Experiment with friction to create a mechanical invention that spins in water.
  • Build a water-powered mechanical invention to propel a grindstone.
  • Reflect on potential inventions such as the waterwheel to solve big problems in the world and how to improve hydropower with water conservation efforts.
  • Extend water-related prototypes through open-ended challenges that link to Sustainable Development Goals.