The KidWind Challenge is Kicking Off Tuesday, February 13th in Topeka, giving students a chance to work together to design, build, and test a wind turbine using whatever materials they want. There are six regional events which will host 95 different teams from 48 different schools to compete. The first event will take place in Hutchinson Tuesday with 11 schools taking part. The remaining five will be held in Manhattan, Burlington, Dodge City, Colby, and Overland Park. All of the events will be open to the public.
In the past, students have used all sorts of materials, even vinyl records and soda cans, to build the turbine blades. Afterwards the blades will be tested in a wind tunnel that measures 48 inches by 48 inches, with wind speeds of about 6.7 miles per hour. Public speaking skills are also utilized when the turbine design is presented to judges.
The categories for the student competition are broken down by grades fourth through eighth and ninth through twelfth. The scoring is based on the turbine’s performance, a knowledge quiz, and a presentation to the judges explaining the design. Winning teams from the regions will advance to state finals in Salina on April 13th. State winners then have the opportunity to go to the national competition in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Two teams from Kansas earned national titles last year.
Kansas KidWind is an energy-related STEM education event, funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of energy. The Kansas Corporation Commission and the K-State Engineering Extension host the educational event.
Times and locations for the events can be found by going to https://www.kcc.ks.gov/images/PDFs/education/KidWindChallengeEventGuide_2024.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
More information about KidWind is available at https://www.kcc.ks.gov/energy-education/kidwind