As you might imagine, Wind Oars are oar shapes on poles that spin vertically or horizontally depending on the winds. Inspired by the nearby marina and nature center, Chula Vista Bayside Park project consists of ten 25-foot aluminum poles that are topped by pairs of wind vane “oars” which follow the wind and reflect sunlight as they move above Chula Vista Bayside Park. Moving in time with each other, shifting with the wind notice that the Wind Oars may create the impression that a flock of birds is soaring overhead. The installation’s light-reactive vanes are visible from the middle of the bay, making Wind Oars an ideal marker for the entrance to the marina and a surprise in the park.


Wind-activated kinetic sculpture made of steel, aluminum and prismatic film in Chula Vista Bayside Park.

Location:  32°37’45.2″N 117°06’27.4″W

Artist:  George Peters & Melanie Walker

Learn: The whirling of the Wind Oars installation is an example of kinetic energy- the energy of motion. An object that has motion – whether it is vertical or horizontal motion – has kinetic energy. There are many forms of kinetic energy – vibrational (the energy due to vibrational motion), rotational (the energy due to rotational motion), and translational (the energy due to motion from one location to another). The amount of translational kinetic energy that an object has depends upon two variables: the mass (m) of the object and the speed (v) of the object. Kinetic energy does not have a direction. Unlike velocity, acceleration, force, and momentum, the kinetic energy of an object is completely described by magnitude alone.

10 Ways to Enjoy:

  1. Play hopscotch.
  2. Watch the shadows cast by the wind oars.
  3. Look up.
  4. Imagine you’re part of a flock of birds.
  5. Roll in the grass.
  6. Spread out a blanket.
  7. Watch the boats enter and exit the marina.
  8. Yarn bomb the poles.
  9. Explain kinetic energy to someone.
  10. To test kinetic energy in action, you need 3 marbles and a 12-inch ruler with a groove in the middle (see photo).
    1. Put marbles1+2 on the ruler around the 8” + 9” marks.
    2. Roll marble 3 down the ruler into marble 2.
    3. Notice that marble 2 transfers kinetic energy, pushing marble 1.
      1. Energy example: Marble 1 moves even though it was not knocked by marble 3.

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