SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Being one of the best in the nation was the goal of each of the 60 teams while competing at the 2022 National KidWind Challenge in San Antonio last week during the American Clean Power (ACP) CLEANPOWER 2022 Conference. More than 200 students from across the U.S. and Mexico put their handcrafted wind turbines to the test to earn a coveted “Top KidWind Challenge Team” distinction. 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 30 renewable energy educators and industry professionals. These judges determined which teams were the best of the best. The top-performing teams are:
High School Age Division (Grades 9-12): Gone with the Wind from Tabb High School in Yorktown, Va.; Mauston Golden Eagles from Mauston High School in Mauston, Wis.; Quilt Blockers from Darlington High School in Darlington, Wis.
Middle School Age Division (Grades 6-8): Sonic Spinners from Sand Creek Middle School in Albany, N.Y.; Wind Breakers from Chaloner Middle School in Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; Olson Middle School from Mauston, Wis.
Elementary School Age Division (Grades 4-5): Hutch STEM Blue from Hutchinson Magnet School at Allen in Hutchinson, Kan.
Virtual Division: Silver Blades from Makersmiths, Inc. in Leesburg, Va.
Team scores were based on their performance in five 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, teams participated in a renewable energy quizbowl. New this year, teams participated in a floating offshore wind instant challenge where they had to construct a floating wind turbine that generated power in a simulated wave and wind environment. Teams also competed in new hydropower and solar instant challenges.
“Every year, teams impress me with the creativity and dedication they put into their designs,” said Michael Arquin, founder of KidWind. “We were so happy to have teams back together in-person to explore wind energy and learn about new topics such as offshore wind, hydropower, and solar energy.”
The national hands-on engineering competition took place in the Henry B. González Convention Center during the CLEANPOWER 2022 Conference on May 16-19, 2022. It was the culminating event for the KidWind Challenge season, which consisted of local challenges across the country over the course of four months. Student teams competed in their local event to qualify for the 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 350 events across the country. The KidWind Challenge was made possible with the help of many volunteers and the generous contributions from national sponsors, including American Clean Power, EDP Renewables North America, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Orsted, Pattern Energy, and Vernier Software & Technology.
For more information about the KidWind Challenge, visit www.kidwind.org/challenge.