Thermal Powered Flower

Thermal Flower (9)

Caution: This project uses real candle flame, so requires grown-up supervision. It’s worth it though, because it’s a neat way to show your child thermal power in action.

To set up, I printed out a template for a flower and traced onto yellow paper. Cut slits inward for each petal and fold them like the blades of a fan, all in the same direction. Set aside.

Thermal Flower (1)

Next, I trimmed a plastic straw to 3 inches and a wooden skewer to 4 inches. Stand the straw up in a little clay on a sturdy base. Attach the skewer to the flower with a little more clay. Slip the skewer into the straw, making sure it isn’t stuck in the clay below.

Thermal Flower (7)

Set out 4 tea lights and carefully light. As the air under the flower heats up, it will rise and – ta da! – the flower starts to spin.

Thermal Flower (9)

Note: Because our skewer and straw rubbed against one another, the most our petals really did was wave up and down and occasionally a little to the side. For better spinning power, attach a small screw eye at the top of the straw to hold it apart from the skewer. You can check out the full details here. This project still got a thumbs up from Travis though!

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