The world is continuing to increase its use of energy. Much of this energy is from non renewable sources. This is having an impact on our climate as more and more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

In New Zealand more than 80% of energy is generated from renewable sources, with wind being one of those sources. We need to find ways to harness even more power from the wind. ​

Your challenge is to design a technology to harness the power of the wind.


Emirates Team New Zealand are world leaders at developing technological solutions to harness the power of the wind.

Their design team and sailors spends their working days using the technological development process to find ways to make the racing boats sail faster. 

Listen carefully to Elise Beavis and Josh Junior as they discuss how they test and refine new ideas. There are clues in this video that you will be able to use to help you with your challenge to design a technology to harness the power of the wind.


There are three sets of classroom learning experiences and a sailing experience to help build the knowledge and skills you will need to design a technology to harness the power of the wind. Your teacher will decide with you which experiences you are going to use and will tailor these to the phase of schooling that you are currently in (either years 4-6, years 7-8, or years 9-10). Your teacher will also frame with you how the learning intentions for each activity relate to the key things to know from the science and technology curriculums for your phase of learning (again, either years 4-6, years 7-8, or years 9-10). Regardless of the phase of learning that you are in, the intention is that the activities will help you to explore and deepen your understanding of the big idea that the environment is not limitless and that we all need to take it care of it. 


Discovering wind

How can you see it? How do you know it is there? How is it recorded? What are tell-tale signs of the wind?

The need for speed

How do you measure the wind? Learners design and build an anemometer.

Which way wind

How do you know where the wind is coming from? Learners design and build a wind vane.

Wind and waves

Where do waves come from? What makes the water move? How do you measure waves?


Tāwhirimātea is howling

Who is Tāwhirimātea? What does he do? Learners create a dance to represent a type of wind.

Capturing wind

Why do sailors love the wind? How do they capture it? Learners design a wind sock to capture the wind.

Harvesting wind

How do wind turbines work? Where are wind farms in Aotearoa New Zealand? Learners design a pinwheel.

Power my car

How do blokarts use the wind? What is kinetic energy and friction? Learners design and test a sail car?


Float your boat

What makes a boat float? Why do some boats sink? Learners design and make a clay boat and test its ability to float.

Sail power

How do sails work? Learners work out how to measure the perimeter and area of a sail.


Sail away

What are the parts of a sail boat? How do they work? Learners build, test and improve a model sail boat.

Up on the foils

How have sail boats changed over the years? How have these changes led to foils on boats? Learners design and test a simple foil


We have set up a Kōkōkaha sailing experience to help you with your challenge of designing a technology to harness the power of the wind. Watch the video below to get a feel for how sailing experiences integrate with the classroom experiences. You can also go to our sailing experience page to get more information and to book your sailing experience.


You will remember when you started on the Kōkōkaha learning journey that your challenge was to design a technology to harness the power of the wind. It is pretty hard to jump straight into designing technologies in the way that Elise and Josh do at Emirates Team New Zealand, so to support your progression toward becoming an expert in using the technology development process, we have set up three challenges, one each for ākonga in years 4-6, years 7-8, and years 9-10. Regardless of the phase of learning that you are in, the intention is that the challenges will help you progress in building your capability to use the technology development process.  

Te kaingākaunui me te hiamo ki te ako

Expanding horizons of knowledge and collaboration

Te mōhio ki tōku tūrangawaewae me te kōkiri kaupapa

Knowing I belong and advocating for self and others

Te whai ahunga, te manaaki i ētahi atu me te manawaroa

Having a purpose and being empathetic and resilient

Years 4-6

Design and make a  wind powered artwork

Use the skills and knowledge that you have acquired to make a piece of wind powered art. This could range from a wind sock, to a pinwheel through to a kinetic sculpture that dances in the wind, to a ...! 

Years 7-8

Design and race a model sail boat

Time for a class sail boat race off. Design and build a model sail boat. Get two equal lengths of guttering or similar as a race track, fill them with water and hold a series of races to see which design is fastest

Years 9-10

Design an idea to make a yacht sail faster

Design an innovation that will help make a yacht sail faster. It doesn't matter how big or small. It could be a new hull shape, a new sail lay out, or perhaps a new way of steering the boat, or ...!

When you have finished your designs we'd love to add them to our ideas gallery. To find out how to add them to the gallery, and to view some designs from other ākonga around Aotearoa New Zealand