National KidWind Challenge goes Virtual This Year

Students to compete in nationwide wind turbine design competition during the Virtual Collegiate Wind Competition

(Saint Paul, Minn.) May 25, 2021 – More than 50 teams of students across the country will come together virtually this year to celebrate the KidWind Challenge season at the 2021 National KidWind Challenge. Hosted by KidWind, the international leader in clean energy education, the virtual competition will be held from June 7-10, 2021 in partnership with the Collegiate Wind Competition and American Clean Power Virtual Conference.

“Holding KidWind Challenges during the pandemic was difficult, however with funding from our partners we were able to develop online and simulation challenges that allowed us to continue connecting with students,” said Michael Arquin, founder of KidWind. “This year, more than 2,500 students participated in various challenge events, and we are excited to recognize the top performers at a national event.” 

How the Competition Works 
The top performing teams from regional and online challenges, and now the Simulation Challenge, are invited to participate in the 3-day virtual event. This year’s challenge will occur at the same time as the virtual Collegiate Wind Competition and include multiple opportunities for students to meet with and learn from the members of the Collegiate Wind teams. 

During the National KidWind Challenge, a panel of judges will determine the teams’ scores based off of the following: 

  • Turbine Performance: Teams will submit all wind turbine performance data on the KidWind competition site.
  • Presentation: Each team will have up to 25 minutes to present their turbine (physical or simulated) to a panel of judges over Zoom.
  • Renewable Energy Quiz Bowl: All teams will participate in a synchronous, virtual quiz bowl.
  • Instant Challenges: Students will have three instant challenges throughout the event drawing on students’ broad knowledge about climate change and renewable energy. Teams will create a PSA video and receive sealed boxes with materials for two hands-on instant challenges. 

Teams are split into three grade-level divisions: elementary school (fourth-fifth grade), middle school (sixth-eighth grade), and high school (ninth-12th grade). Overall top performing teams will receive awards including trophies, cash, and other fun items. Awards will be presented to the top three performing teams in the middle school and high school divisions and the top two performing teams in the elementary school division. The panel of judges will also present special awards to one team in each division with a Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, Best Dressed Turbine Award, Judges Award, and Spirit of KidWind Award. In addition, thanks to TPI Composites, one team in each division will also be awarded the Blade Engineer Awards, recognizing the best physical and simulated blade designs. 

KidWind’s Impact
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, as well as EDP Renewables North America, Orsted, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Siemens Gamesa.

For more information about the KidWind Challenge, visit:  

About the KidWind Challenge 
The KidWind Challenge is the ultimate wind energy learning experience. Students discover the promise and limitations of wind energy technology while designing, building, and testing a functional wind turbine and competing with their peers in a supportive environment. The KidWind Challenge was developed in 2009 by the KidWind Project, an international leader in wind energy education, and has been embraced and supported by leading energy industry companies since its start. For information on how to get involved, go to