WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The National KidWind Challenge was held in San Antonio, Texas, last week.

The KidWind Challenge is KidWind’s flagship renewable energy design and construction student competition.

Each team met this year’s extra challenging competition elements with enthusiasm, determination, and out of the box thinking! Like usual, teams tested their turbine in each of our 4 wind tunnels and presented their design and process to a panel of judges. In addition to these typical Challenge elements, this year team’s had to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of other renewable energy content. Teams had to bring a second turbine to Nationals this year — a floating offshore turbine — able to sustain wave action in our offshore wind tunnel. Teams also participated in two brand new instant challenges — one focused on hydropower and a second that required students to do some solar panel circuitry work. Lastly, teams participated in a Quizbowl to test their energy knowledge.”


According to the Kansas Corporation Commission, scoring was based on turbine performance, a knowledge quiz, an instant challenge, and a presentation to judges in which the team explained its design process.

To qualify for the National KidWind Challenge, teams had to place first or second in their age bracket in their regional competition and first, second, or third in the state final.

“KidWind is a fantastic hands-on opportunity that allows students to tinker and experiment with wind turbine designs. They experience the thrill of scientific discovery as their designs are validated through performance testing, and they hone their public-speaking skills as they present their turbine design to a panel of judges,” said David Carter, Director of the Kansas Energy Program at K-State Engineering Extension.

Fifty-three student teams from 15 U.S. states and Mexico attended.

Three of the eight participating schools from Kansas received awards.

Hutch STEM Blue from Hutchinson STEM Magnet School at Allen Elementary won the Elementary National Champion award.

Hutch STEM Blue

Wind Chill from Dighton Middle School won the Innovator Award.

Wind Chill

Gerald La Turbina from Beloit Junior/Senior High School won the Judges Award.

Gerald La Turbina

Also representing Kansas at the National KidWind Challenge were the K.O. CO. Winfighters from Centralia Schools, the Turbine Turners from Oakley High School, the Windstars from Nemaha Central, the Wind Gladiators from Sterling High School and Fire Storm from Osage City High School.