Building a Water Wheel

By Accessible Science on Jun 09, 2014

Perkins School for the Blind secondary student Jake Pine shares his science fair research experiment: "How Does a Water Wheel Change Water to Electrical Energy?"
Listen to Jake's Radio Interview:


Building a water wheel


How does a water wheel change water to electrical energy? 


I think the water wheel will change the water to power by using the axle as the water flows through the wheel. 

water wheelBackground information: 

A water wheel is a type of simple machine, wheel and axle. A water wheel has levers attached to it. The axle represents the fulcrum. A water wheel is an example of Newton's third law of motion because if force is applied on one side, the other side has an equal and opposite reaction. Water wheels can be found at the bottom of a waterfall. The water falling on the wheel adds force to the wheel which causes the wheel to spin. A water wheel is used to change mechanical energy into different forms of power or electrical energy. Water wheels are not commonly used any more because they need flowing water to run and there is not always flowing water around. Water wheels have been replaced with different ways to change energy such as wind energy, solar energy, and nuclear energy. 


  • student on radio show15 by 20 inch foam board
  • Box cutters or Shinto Legend
  • A pen or a pencil
  • A ruler, (braille)
  • Some pins or a hot glue gun
  • A wooden skewer (fruit knife)
  • Plastic cups
  • String
  • Water
  • A picture for the water
  • A tub to catch the water
  • A tri-fold or camera



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