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Kids and Wind Power: The KidWind Challenge

The Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University hosted the first annual Virginia KidWind Challenge at the Science Museum of Virginia over the weekend. As WCVE Public Radio’s Charles Fishburne tells us in this WCVE Science Matters report, middle and high school teams from around the state built powerful small-scale wind turbines and put both their turbines and their new found knowledge of wind power to the test.

The KidWind Challenge is a wind turbine design competition for middle and high school students. Teams of two to four students incorporated engineering and science to build powerful small-scale wind turbines and competed with other students to see which one could generate the most electricity. Remy Pangle, the Director of Education and Outreach at the Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison said that “this event is a chance to get students involved and excited about alternative energy and sustainability. On top of gaining teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills, these students learned key scientific concepts during their constructions.” Students won prizes for the power of their turbines and for their creative designs.

This year’s winners for the Middle School Division were:

  • 1st - Kemps Landing Magnet School, Team name: Winning Wind, Members: Keeling Woods
  • 2nd - North Branch School, Team name: North Wind, Members: Reed Kattmann, Adrian Green, Lyle Dickert
  • 3rd - North Branch School, Team name: Winds R Us, Members: Leo Stone, Alice Ferrell, Kaya Winsheimer, Richard Hoge

Judges Award- North Branch School, Team name: Windy Squirrel Monkeys, Members: Liam Tipler, Willow Crocker, Ethan Hunt, Terran Orion

High School Division:

  • 1st - Massanutten Regional Governor’s School, Team name: MRGS,  Members: Connor Chambers, Alex King, Daniel Patton, Sydney Collins
  • 2nd- Heritage High School, Team name: Silver, Members: Trevell Davis, Iam Delacruz, Cameron Catlett
  • 3rd- Heritage High School, Team name: Maroon, Members: Matthew Ellison, Derrick Stallings, Epiphany White

Judges Award- Heritage High School, Team name: Silver, Members: Trevell Davis, Iam Delacruz, Cameron Catlett

The KidWind Challenge was sponsored by Dominion Virginia Power, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Alstom, Valley 25x25, Timmons Group, Invenergy, the Science Museum of Virginia, and KidWind and will be held again in the spring next year.

Find out how your school can be involved by going to JMU’s KidWind Challenge site.