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Hoyt Battey of the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office provides a simple step-by-step project on building a wind turbine that can be completed in less than 20 minutes.

Looking for a fun project to do with the family?

Why not explore the gift that keeps on giving: clean energy.

This project takes less than 20 minutes to complete and builds awareness of wind energy—the fastest growing source of power in the United States.

Wind power is one of America’s best options for low-cost, carbon-free renewable energy. It combats climate change, supports more than 73,000 U.S. jobs and grew to nearly 66 gigawatts of total installed wind capacity in 2014. That’s enough electricity to power more than 17.5 million homes per year!

Watch the step-by-step video hosted by Hoyt Battey of the Wind & Water Power Technologies Office to build a paper wind turbine or follow the steps below:

Materials Needed:


  • Paper (cardstock preferred)
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons
  • One small bead
  • One dress pin
  • One eraser

Step 1: Download the materials and print the wind turbine cutout

Step 2: Cut out the tower and blades

U.S. Department of Energy

Step 3: Color the tower and blades

Two hands coloring a strip of paper with a marker.

Step 4: Cut out slots on the tower

Figers about to cut a folded over paper along thicker lines into little slots.

Tip- Bend the paper along thicker lines (not the short, dotted lines) and cut out each line to create little slots so the flaps on the other side can fit into them.

Step 5: Fold the tower

Two hands fold over the piece of paper along the smaller, dotted lines
At the last fold, two hands insert the three flaps into the three slots that were created in Step 4.

Begin gently folding the tower along the smaller, dotted lines. At the last fold, insert the three flaps into the three slots that were created in Step 4.

Step 6: Fold the blades

Hands slightly bend each blade along the dotted lines.

Slightly bend each blade along the dotted lines. This will help the blades spin better!

Step 7: Attach the blades to the tower

Carefully poke the dress pin through the center of the hub that connects the three turbine blades together. Next, place the bead on the pin, followed by the tower, and finally hold all the parts in place by attaching the eraser to the pin.

Want to learn more about wind energy?

Learn how wind turbines work, check out our Wind for Schools Project, or read the Revolution Now Report.

The Wind Program is part of the Wind & Water Power Technologies Office and works to enable the expansion of clean, affordable, and reliable domestic wind power to promote national security, economic vitality, and environmental quality.