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Aeolus winds


Students learn about wind energy, moving from mechanical constructions to the realm of fantasy and mythology. First, they create balloon rockets and sailing ships, where they experiment with wind energy. Then they reenact the adventures of Odysseus in Aeolia and explore the effect of the contrary winds on the mystery of the stationary ship.

Learning objectives

  • They are learning about the concept of wind energy.

  • We are cultivating scientific ways of reasoning: experimenting and making inferences.

  • The teacher is enhancing students' imagination and creativity.


Suggested age group

Kindergarten - 1st Grade


75 minutes

Fields in S.T.E.A.M.

  • Sciences

  • Mechanics

  • Art


For the balloon rocket:

  • Rope

  • Two straws

  • Paper tape

  • Two balloons

  • Two pegs

  • Scissors

For the boat:

  • 1 Straw

  • One metal lid (e.g., from a jar of honey, mayonnaise, jam)

  • Cardboard

  • Paper tape

  • One bowl of water

  • Scissors

  • Paper punch



Following the instructions, you create the balloon rocket.


You ask students to interpret the motion of the rocket balloon. Then they realise that the exiting of the air from the balloon caused it.


The myth says that Aeolus taught people to harness the energy of the wind to travel with their ships.

By following the instructions, students make ships and detachable paper sails. Then, by using a balloon, they experiment and observe:

  • When does the wind affect their boat?

  • When do they have a sail, or have it removed?

As the sails have a large surface, they manage to utilise wind energy, which moves the entire ship. So the air from the balloon moves their boat faster when they have sailed.


The teacher reads to the students the story of Odysseus, who travelled to Troy and fought alongside King Menelaus. On the way back, he found the island of Aeolus, where he lived a vast adventure. Then, the students act out the story with their balloons and ships.


Finally, the teacher invites the students to use their acquired knowledge to solve a mystery.

Once upon a time, a ship was in the middle of the sea when suddenly extreme winds began to blow. When the winds stopped, the boat was in the same position.

  • What could have happened?

By re-enacting the story in their constructions, the students discover the effect of the opposing winds without ultimately moving the boat.

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