Water is considered one of our most precious resources. It gives life and nourishment for all living things, but it is capable of so much more. The power of water can be harnessed to create electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes. This is done by using a water turbine, an engine that converts the pressure from the flow of water into usable energy.
Here is a simple activity you can do to create a homemade water turbine in your own back yard.
- empty half-gallon milk carton
- hammer and nail
- masking tape
- pitcher of water
- Using the hammer and nail, punch a hole in the center top of the milk carton.
- Also, punch a hole in the bottom right corner on each side of the carton.
- Tape the holes with masking tape.
- Place a string through the top center hole.
- Hang the carton outside where it can freely swing.
- Fill the carton with water.
- Once you are all set up, pull the tape off one of the corner holes. Observe what happens.
- Now, pull the tape off two opposite corners. What happened this time?
- Pull the tape off all the corners. What happens?
You have just experienced one of Isaac Newton's principles of motion - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The force of the water exiting through one hole makes the milk carton turn. The more holes, the faster it turns.