KidWind Celebrates Top Renewable Energy Innovations from Students at the 2023 National KidWind Challenge

More than 80 teams from across the U.S. and Mexico put their wind turbines and solar structures to the test to earn a coveted “Top KidWind Challenge Team” distinction

(Boulder, Colo.) May 24, 2023 – Being one of the best was the goal of each of the 80 teams while competing at the 2023 National KidWind Challenge in Boulder. Over the course of the three-day event, these highly skilled students were tested on their knowledge of renewable energy, their design and problem-solving skills, and their wind turbines’ energy output by a team of renewable energy educators and industry professionals. The top-performing teams are: 

High School Division (Grades 9-12) 

  • THS Wind Breakers from Tabb High School in Yorktown, Va.
  • Mauston Gummy Bears from Mauston High School in Mauston, Wis.
  • The Quilt Blockers from Darlington High School in Darlington, Wis. 

Middle School Division (Grades 6-8)

  • The 2 Dominators from Sand Creek Middle School in Albany, N.Y.
  • J.A.M.S from Smithfield Middle School in Smithfield, Va.
  • W Squared from Oakley Middle School in Oakley, Kan. 

Elementary School Division (Grades 4-5)

  • Hutch STEM Blue from STEM Magnet School at Allen in Hutchinson, Kan.
  • Montgomery Windbreakers from Montgomery Area School District in Montgomery, Pa.
  • Slack Attack form St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Va.

Team scores were based on their performance on three tasks. Teams tested their wind turbine’s performance and energy output in four KidWind wind tunnels each operating at different speeds. They then presented their design choices, challenges, and successes to the judges. To further test their knowledge and skill, each grade-level division also participated in a renewable energy quizbowl and instant challenges

Additionally, students competed in the first-ever National Solar Challenge. Students created solar powered objects, art, or mini cities for this new event. Teams were scored on their creativity, knowledge, and the performance of their device. The two top-performing teams are:

  • Hungry Chickens from Smithfield High School in Smithfield, Va.
  • Solar Baby from J. Frank Hillyard Middle School in Broadway, Va.

This national hands-on engineering competition took place at the Balch Fieldhouse at the University of Colorado – Boulder. This year’s event was co-located with the Collegiate Wind Competition on May 14-17, 2023. It was the culminating event for the KidWind Challenge season, which consisted of 50 local challenges happening across the U.S. and Mexico over the course of six months. Student teams competed in their local event to qualify for the 2023 National KidWind Challenge. 

Since the first competition in 2009, the KidWind Challenge and its partners have successfully implemented events in 42 states, with roughly 50,000 students competing in 400 events across the country. The 2023 KidWind Challenge was made possible with the help of many volunteers and the generous contributions from national sponsors, including National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Invenergy, EDP Renewables North America, Enel, Orsted, Pattern Energy, Trane, and Vernier Software & Technology

For more information about the KidWind Challenge, visit www.kidwind.org/challenge

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 clean 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 www.kidwind.org/challenge.

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