Over a period of several months, students designed and constructed their own wind turbines with the goal of creating an efficient, elegant and highly functional device. Participating teams convened at the second annual USA Science & Engineering Festival held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, April 27 – 29, 2012. Entries were judged on April 28 according to three main criteria: turbine power performance, turbine construction, and knowledge of wind energy topics.
KidWind Challenge, Washington, D.C., winners included:
FIRST PLACE J. Michael Lunsford Middle School, Chantilly, Va.
SECOND PLACE Roland Park Elementary Middle School, Baltimore, Md.
THIRD PLACE Jefferson Middle School, D.C.
FIRST PLACE National Cathedral School, D.C.
SECOND PLACE Desert Mirage High School, Thermal, Calif.
THIRD PLACE Langley High School, McLean, Va.
‘We want to congratulate all of the participants for completing the KidWind Challenge,’ said Darlene Snow, executive director, Wind Energy Foundation. ‘The excitement level at the USA Science and Engineering Festival was inspiring. There’s no doubt, Washington, D.C. kids love science.’
In addition to the KidWind Challenge, tens of thousands of K-12 students ascended on the Washington Convention Center, overwhelming the KidWind booth. Thousands of students assembled their own miniature turbine blades and tested them in a wind tunnel.
‘We were overwhelmed by their interest in wind energy,’ said Michael Arquin, KidWind Project Director. ‘The key is to give them an opportunity to engage with the materials and to learn about energy transformation.’
While turbines are judged and prizes are awarded at the KidWind Challenge, the event, at its core, is about learning. ‘We want to immerse students in the science of how a wind turbine works through the process of design and redesign. Beyond that, the goal is to inspire teachers to include renewable energy in their science activities.’