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Wind Power Race

Using recyclable materials, build a model sailboat to race a short distance against others. How can you gather more of the wind’s energy?

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  • What materials will help your boat stay waterproof?
  • What materials will help you use wind energy?
  • How will you design your model boat?


  • Design and create your model boat out of the materials available. Remember to think about how the boat will float and balance in addition to how it will use wind power.
  • Race your boat against your friends. If it is a still day with little wind, you might need to create a bit of wind power yourself - try fanning your boat or blowing through a straw to create your own wind energy!
  • Be aware that depending on what materials you used, your boat might not last through too many races.


  • How effective was your boat at harnessing the wind energy?
  • How did the weather affect your boat’s success? Was there too much wind, or too little wind?
  • How would you design your boat differently next time?
  • Remember to submit your activities on our Scouts for Sustainability Take Action Map


  • Various material which could be used in boat design (cardboard, tinfoil, fabric, plastic wrap).
  • Tape and/or glue
  • Scissors
  • Materials to create your own wind power (e.g. paper to make fans, straws, etc.)

Keep it Simple

  • Start with a pre-made boat hull (a juice box or milk carton would work well) in order to focus on harnessing wind power.

Take it Further

  • Why not make your boat human-sized? You can design a boat out of the materials you have, or adapt a canoe into a sailboat.