Basic Materials Used In Making A Picoturbine Windmill For Your Science Fair Project

Magnet, copper wire, aluminum wire, screws and clips, cardboard, and wood are the basic materials to used in making your own PicoTurbine windmill science fair project.

A PicoTurbine is a small windmill structure functioning to produce a small scale electric energy. A windmill structure is a very suitable science project idea for renewable energy topics. It is an ideal science fair project because it can be built easily. The materials used to make such project can also be easily found in any hardware store. PicoTurbine windmill is basically made from the list of items below.


The magnet is basically used to attach with the rotor disk place above the wooden base of the PicoTurbine. It’s securely attached with a double sided tape to a thick cardboard to function as a rotor mechanism. When the rotor spins the magnet’s magnetic field will release enough voltage to light the light emitting diode or LED.

Copper wire

A copper wire is used as a pathway of the PicoTurbine’s electric circuit. It is generally used in building the stator segment of the turbine. It is also use to transport the voltage in lighting up the light emitting diode or LED. Expose the copper wire on the end of the coils with sandpaper. Remember to get rid of any enamel left on the copper to have an efficient stator.

Aluminum wire

An aluminum wire is used to assemble the base and yoke of the windmill. Wrap the aluminum around the dowel. Bend and loop the aluminum wire with pliers to form the yoke as well. The yolk and dowel can then be placed on the center of a wooden base by screwing it with Philips head screw.

Screws and clips

Screws and clips are essential bearing parts that are used in assembling the different segments of a PicoTurbine windmill. A Philips head screw is specifically used to attach the yoke and the axle of the windmill. Retaining clips are metal clips that fastened the dowel to the rotor. Screws and clips are the joints and tendons of the whole PicoTurbine skeletal structure.


The cardboard is the base support of the paper blade and turbine patterns. A cut-out paper template is glued to the cardboard to give it more weight. A cardboard is also used to support the magnet and the rotor.


Wood is basically used as a foundation of the PicoTurbine. Since wood is a solid material and can easily be screwed, it is an essential base to hold all of the windmill’s parts. An 8? by 5? wood is the ideal size for an 8? PicoTurbine windmill. A half inch thickness of the wooden base is also a complementing support.

Prepare all the necessary materials completely before you will start building your PicoTurbine windmill. PicoTurbine windmill kits are also available in the market to ensure that you have all the materials that you need. Scissors, screw driver, and ruler are the tools that may come in handy.


ABSTRACT The result of improvised instructional materials on students’ performance longitude and latitude at the senior technical colleges was assessed. Two hundred students of all senior technical colleges participated in the study. The students were grouped into two:- control group and experimental group (20 students formed each group “control and experimental”) preset was administered to both groups. Alter exposing the experimental group to treatment, post-test was administered. Mean and standard deviation was computed; ranked are used to answer the research question for the study. The t-test statistics was used in testing the null hypothesis formulated. The finding of this study shows that the group taught with improvised instructional materials performed better than the group taught without any instructional materials. Recommendations were offered on ways to promoting, encouraging and arousing the interest of teachers in the improvisation of mathematics equipment and materials.


INTRODUCTION For the purpose of definition, technical colleges are a post-secondary vocational training programme whose major purpose is the production of technicians and craftsmen. It is a special grade of vocational education which can be distinguished from other educational programmes because more mathematics and science are required in the training programme Okorie (2000) Today the population of Technical colleges has continue to decrease in the country, equally there had been an enormous decrease in the students population. This is due to the unimpressive state of the nation’s economy, the government has found it very difficulty to adequately finance technical colleges and also provide the scientific equipment required by these colleges. Therefore many technical colleges in the country operate without standard mathematics and science laboratories. Obviously the situation is not likely to improve in the nearest future judging from political and economic state of the nation, due to inadequate funding of the schools and colleges in the country. Consequently, the demand for mathematics and science equipment will continue to remain by these schools and colleges and the most feasible way to adjust with this demand is to resort to the improvisation of teaching equipment and materials. In Nigeria and other foreign countries, a lot of research work on improvisation of teaching of mathematics and science subjects had been carried out as part of the effort to promote, encourage and arouse the interest of mathematics and science teachers, educators and curriculum developers in improvisation of teaching equipment and materials. Alghomlan (1990) explain why mathematics teacher should improvise with available materials in other to achieve their aims in teaching. Therefore instructional materials help the teacher to meet individual differences of learners in class by using aid that appeal to different sense (Moronfola, 1983) Aina (2013), stressed that instructional materials are to supplement verbal explanation of concepts or any description so that the learning could be real to the student, therefore the national policy on Education (2004) emphasizes the teaching and learning of science principles, it also stated that the provision and use of science will lay a sound bases for scientific and reflective thinking among pupils. Ugoata (2006); Nwagbo (2008), asserted that teaching equipments and materials are often lacking in our schools. However, some of the equipments needed for teaching mathematics in technical colleges can be improvise to arose the interest of the students. Abimbola (1999), stressed that the primary purpose of instructional materials is to make learning more effective, and also facilitate it. Provision and use of instructional materials for mathematics teaching will lay a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking among technical students. Studies have shown that the students enjoyed or gain more when improvised materials were used for teaching physics (Aina 2013).this was also supported by Eyetsemitan (2000) and Achimigu (2006) that the use of instructional materials improve achievement in basic science. METHODOLOGY An experimental design was used for this study, in which quasi-experimental approach was used. There was an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group was exposed to improvised materials. Their performances were later compared using the mean scores in pre-test and post test scores. Senior students of all the five Technical colleges in Kwara State were used for this study A total of 200 students comprising of 155 males and 45 females constitute the entire population which was considered appropriate and manageable by the researcher. These students were divided in to two groups. One group was experimental (20) and other group was for control (20) Two groups (A & B) of senior students from all the five technical colleges in the state were taught mathematics lesson on the determination of distance between two points on the earth surface along the lines of latitude. The duration was 45minites each. Each group comprised of twenty (20) students. Group A was taught with improvised instructional materials, while group B, was taught without using improvised materials. At the end of the lesson, group A and B were given a written test, their script were collected and marked, and the scores were later analyzed.

HYPOTHESIS There is no significant difference between the performances of students taught using improvised instructional materials and those taught without using instructional materials.

DATA ANALYSIS Student’s scripts were marked and the scores obtained by each of the two group of student were recorded independently. The mean score of each group was then calculated t – test was also computed to find out whether or not there was any statistical significant difference in the two mean score. RESULTS Table 1 shows the number of students that took part in the pre-test and post- test for each of the two group, i.e. experimental group and control group the table therefore shows that 200 student took part in the pre-test and the 200 students took part in protest. TABLE 1: DISTRIBUTION OF STUDENTS S/NOGroupsNumbers of students Pre- testPost- test AExperimental Group100100 BControl group100100 Total200200

Table II: – shows the mean scores of the two groups in the pre- test. The results indicate that the students had little or no prior knowledge of longitude and latitude due to their poor performance in the pre- test conducted. Table II: MEAN SCORES FOR THE PRE- TEST DescriptionExperimental groupControl group Total score75-IK No of students100100 Mean score23.824 Table III shows the test computation of students taught with improvised instructional material i.e. locally made “globe of the earth” and their counterpart without improvised material

VariablesNoMeanSDDfCalc.tCritical value tDecision Students taught with improvised material10082.59.85998.641.970Rejected Students taught without improvised material10041.56.75 HYPOTHESIS There is no significant difference between the performance of student exposed to improvised instructional material and those not exposed to it. The hypothesis was tested using t-test statistics at 0.05 alpha level of significant. Judging from table 111 above, it is indicated that die t-calculated value is 8.64, while the critical or t- table value in 1-970. Since the t-calculated value is greater than the t-table, therefore null hypothesis is hereby rejected. Hence there is significant difference in the performance of student taught using improvised instructional materials and their counterparts taught without improvised instructional materials. DISCUSSION OF FINDING Pretest mean scores for the two groups are higher than the scores of their post- test of die two groups, experimental group scores was also higher than that of control group scores. Differences in their scores indicate the effectiveness of treatment given to the experimental group. This was confirmed by the t-test statistics computation of the two groups. The treatment easily aroused their interest, aid their retention and stir-up the cognitive conflict in them, thereby engage them in active participation in the lesson presented. The control groups in order hand were just presented with facts and reasons. These act allowed students to a passive participation in the lesson thereby do courses mass failure in mathematics as a subject. CONCLUSION Mathematics teaching/learning at both junior and senior students of technical colleges required a lot of handling of teaching equipment and materials by the student’s before any meaningful learning could be achieved by the teacher. Therefore, in the absence of no unready made equipment, mathematics teachers should be encouraged and advised to always design and construct equipment and material by improvising from the available resources. RECOMMENDATIONS Based on the finding of this study the researcher makes the following recommendations: 1.That a comprehensive syllabus be prepared along with appropriate suggested teaching equipment and material by curriculum planners who are in charge of mathematics to guide mathematics teachers, so that the teaching and learning of mathematic in Nigeria may be thorough enough to achieve the technological development. 2.The national commission for college of education should introduce into the present NCCE curriculum for mathematics a detail comprehensive course on improvisation of mathematics equipment and materials.

REFERENCES Abimbola, A. (1999). Principles and practice of Education Technology, Ibadan, Nigeria: International Publisher. Aina, J. K. (2013). Instructional materials and Improvisation in Physics Class: Implication for Teaching and Learning. IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education Aigbomlan, D.O. (1990) Improving the attitude of primary school science teachers toward improvisation, Journal of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, 26 (2), 53-58 Achimugu, L. (2006). Resources Materials for Teaching Primary Science. In U. Nzewi (ed). Science Teachers Association of Nigeria Annual Conference Proceedings, 339-345. Heinemann Publishers Plc. Eyetsemitan, P.E. (2002). Curriculum Design and Development: The Teaching and Learning of STM with the Primary Science Curriculum. In M.A.G. Akale (eds) 43rd Science Teachers Association of Nigeria Annual Conference Proceedings, 420-425. Heinemann Publishers Plc. Federal Ministry of Education (2004) National policy on Education. Lagos, NERDC Morohunfola, P.I (1983). A study of relationship between instructional resources and students’ academic performance. (Unpublished master’s thesis) University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.

Nwagbo, C. (2008). Science, Technology and Mathematics (STM) curriculum development; Focus on problems and prospects of Biology Curriculum Delivery. N. Udofia (eds) 49th Science Teachers Association of Nigeria Annual Conference Proceedings. 13-15. Heinemann Publishers Plc. Okorie, JU (2001) Vocational industrial education, league of researchers in Nigeria (LRN) Bauchi Nigeria. Uyoata, U.E. (2006). Availability, selection and utilization of instructional resources for teaching Primary Science in Uyo Local Government Education Authority, Akwa.