Processing, please wait...
It was processed successfully!
It was processed successfully!
Login Create Free Account
Create Free Account
Oops! It looks like your security settings are blocking this video 🙁

If you are on a school computer or network, ask your tech person to whitelist these URLs:
*.wistia.com, fast.wistia.com, fast.wistia.net, embedwistia-a.akamaihd.net

Sometimes a simple refresh solves this issue. If you need further help, contact us.


Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Resources Activity for Kids

Water Wheel DIY

  • Duration: 30-60 min
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: $0 to $5

Make your own water wheel to better understand renewable energy!

Material List

  • 1Large plastic container
  • 2Long rulers
  • 2Paper or foam plates
  • 1Deck of playing cards
  • 1Wood barbecue skewer
  • 1Pair of scissors
  • 1Roll of tape
  • 1Stapler
  • 1Pitcher of water


  • 1Poke a hole in the center of each plate.
  • 2Fold 8 playing cards in thirds with the help of a ruler.
  • 3Staple the playing cards evenly around one plate, then staple them to the other.
  • 4Insert the skewer through the two holes in the plates.
  • 5Place two rulers on top of the large plastic container.
  • 6Place the water wheel on the rulers and tape down the skewer.
  • 7Pour water onto the wheel and observe the results!
  • Quick tip:A foam egg carton can be cut apart and used in place of playing cards.

How It Works

The energy of the moving water is transferred to the wheel, which makes the wheel spin! In real life, this motion energy of the wheel turning can be used to spin a generator which makes electricity. That electricity can be used far away from the power plant to turn on lights, charge your computer, and so much more!

Find More
Exciting Activities

More Activities

Browse All
Full Lessons

Watch Full Lessons
We’ve sent you an email with instructions how to reset your password.
Choose Your Free Trial Period
3 Days

3 days to access to all of our teaching resources for free.

Continue to Lessons
30 Days

Get 30 days free by inviting other teachers to try it too.

Share with Teachers
Get 30 Days Free
By inviting 4 other teachers to try it too.
4 required

*only school emails accepted.

Skip, I will use a 3 day free trial

Thank You!

Enjoy your free 30 days trial