Making a cup spinner is a chance for you to think about climate change and possible solutions by building simple examples of renewable energy technologies. This will also introduce you to the concept of renewable energy as well as gauge what you. already know. It is also a good way to start conversations around simple ways of maximising the efficiency of renewable technologies.
- Paper or plastic cups, paper cones or egg box cones x 4
- A plastic or sturdy paper drinking straw
- Thin wooden sticks that fit inside the straws easily allowing movement x3
- Glue or tape
- A needle or sharp object to make small holes in the straw and cups
Making your Cup Spinner
- Make two holes through the straw, about 2cm from the top at right angles (Picture 1).
- Push the two wooden sticks through the straw creating a cross inside the straw (Picture 2).
- Make holes in both sides of each cup and push the wooden sticks through, gluing or taping each side to the cup to keep them firm (Picture 3).
- Insert your remaining wooden stick into the straw (Picture 4).
- Test the spinner by placing the wooden stick in the ground and watching to see if it spins.
Things to think about
How could you enhance the cup spinner so that you can use its wind energy?
Do you know how wind can be used on a larger scale to create electricity? There is lots of information about wind technology online, check out this introduction, or watch this short video from National Geographic.
Can you think of any ways to make your models more efficient? What other sources of energy have you heard of? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
Take it further
This activity was adapted from the Handbook for Action Against Climate Change from our partners at IFM-SEI. With lots of useful background information and more activities for groups on the climate emergency.
If you enjoyed this activity you might enjoy making a pollution catcher or your own weather station – you can also check out the other activities and resources on our Climate and Ecological Emergency page.