A passion for exploring and learning about wind energy brought 58 teams and more than 200 students to the 2021 National KidWind Challenge. Over the course of the four-day virtual event, these students, who had previously won regional events, were tested on their knowledge of renewable energy and demonstrated their wind turbine’s performance to a panel of judges using a variety of virtual tools. The highest performing teams are:
Elementary School Division (Grades 4-5):
1. Nature Wings from Cardinal Ridge Elementary School in Centreville, Va.
2. Carrillo Ranch Reunion from Carrillo Ranch Elementary School in Indio, Calif.
Middle School Division (Grades 6-8):
1. Auntie Anne’s from The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas.
2. The Georges from American Charter Academy in Wasilla, Alaska.
3. Moderna from Bobby Duke Middle School in Coachella, Calif.
4. Blade from Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, Va.
High School Division (Grades 9-12):
1. Quilt Blockers from Darlington High School in Darlington, Wis.
2. Mauston Golden Eagles from Mauston High School in Mauston, Wis.
3. Underground Turbine from Exeter West Greenwich Regional High School in Greenwich, R.I.
4. KidWin(D) from Mauston High School in Mauston, Wis.
Team scores were based on their performance on six tasks. Teams submitted performance data for their physical or simulated wind turbine through the KidWind competition site and each team presented their turbine to a panel of judges over Zoom. All teams also participated in a synchronous virtual quiz bowl and three challenges that had students building gearboxes, siting wind farms and creating wind focused PSAs.
In addition to top performance, the event presented additional awards for Blade Design, Rookie of the Year, Judges Awards, and Spirit of KidWind Awards.
“Everyone knows that doing anything in schools was really hard this year – especially hands-on competitions. I was so impressed with all the students that had the passion to participate in our virtual national challenge. Some students had even been out of school for weeks!,” said Michael Arquin, founder of KidWind. “I look forward to taking what we learned this year and combining it with our more traditional programming in the 2021-22 season. It is going to be awesome!”
Since the first competition in 2009, the KidWind Challenge and its partners have successfully implemented events in 32 states, with roughly 40,000 students competing in 300 events across the country. The 2021 KidWind Challenge was made possible with the help of many volunteers and the generous contributions from national sponsors, including Vernier Software & Technology, Flinn Scientific, EDP Renewables North America, Orsted, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, TPI Composites, and Siemens Gamesa.
For more information about the KidWind Challenge, visit: www.kidwind.org/challenge.