Ok, when I say free, I am assuming you already have something laying around which I always seem to have – a broken printer… If you don’t have one, chances are you know someone who does! If you can get hold of an old printer, some CDs and a length of pipe or a broom handle, you have everything you need to build a small scale hydroelectric generator.
Now this hydropower generator isn’t going to generate much electricity, probably just enough to run an LED light from, but that’s not the point. This is an awesome little project to do one afternoon, for two reasons – it is a great project to do with the kids to demonstrate recycling and reusing old things, AND it is an excellent introduction to building a hydroelectric generator, showing you the basics of hydroelectricity, should you want to scale things up and build a generator which is capable of generating a usable amount of electricity.
If nothing else, it would make your kids’ day, if together you built a hydroelectric generator from an old broken printer, and make that LED light glow!