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Engineering: Wind Travelers

Engineering: Wind TravelersPlan, construct and test a vehicle prototype powered by wind alone! Students engage in the engineering design process by developing and testing their designs using limited resources. See how small changes can drastically alter the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Apply creative thinking and these engineering principles to create a working Wind Traveler.

LEARNING LAB MAX: 30 students per lab session, with 2 lab sessions available per hour
TIME: 50 minutes
GRADE: Designed for grades 6-8
COST: $6 per lab, per student. This does not include museum admission.


  • Moving air provides a force that can move an object. Changing the object's shape, size, weight and/or materials affects its motion.
  • Engineers use a design process to develop and refine multiple solution options to a problem.
  • Wind is a renewable source of energy. Some energy resources are renewable and others are not, or renew very slowly.



The Nature of Science and Engineering - Explain the importance of learning from past failures, in order to inform future designs of similar products or systems. - Apply and document an engineering design process that includes identifying criteria and constraints, making representations, testing and evaluation, and refining the design as needed to construct a product or system that solves a problem. - Plan and conduct a controlled experiment to test a hypothesis about a relationship between two variables, ensuring that one variable is systematically manipulated, the other is measured and recorded, and any other variables are kept the same (controlled). - Generate a scientific conclusion from an investigation, clearly distinguishing between results (evidence) and conclusions (explanation). - Evaluate explanations proposed by others by examining and comparing evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, and suggesting alternative explanations.

Physical Science - Identify the force that starts something moving or changes its speed or direction of motion. - Demonstrate that a greater force on an object can produce a greater change in motion. - Recognize that when the forces acting on an object are balanced, the object remains at rest or continues to move at a constant speed in a straight line, and that unbalanced forces cause a change in the speed or direction of the motion of an object. - Identify the forces acting on an object and describe how the sum of the forces affects the motion of the object.

Request a Learning Lab

Learning Labs are available for school groups at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or 12 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, from September to May. Minimum/Maximum class size: 18/30 students. Reservations are required at least 2 weeks in advance for Learning Labs. To make your reservation, fill out the Field Trip Reservation Request, email , or call (651) 221-9444 Tuesday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.