66. KidWind Challenge: Getting high school kids amped about wind power

Blog: KidWind: The answer to getting high school kids engaged with renewable energy is blowing in the wind

The main room of Edmonton’s city hall is full of nervous energy as over 30 keen and green high school students eye up the competition, each team with their own two-foot tall wind turbine nearby. They’re participating in the KidWind Challenge and it’s a fun way to get students excited and involved with renewable energy.

Over 5,000 kids since 2009 from all over North America have participated in the KidWind Challenge designing and building micro wind turbines, testing them out in a wind tunnel and competing for prizes.

Colin Pishke is the project coordinator for the KidWind Challege and the wind energy community liaison with Lethbridge College a school with a wind turbine technician training program. He’s run three of these events in Alberta now and each time it gets bigger and better. More…

Podcast: KidWind Challenge blows into town, gets high school students engaged with renewable energy

In the past five years the KidWind Challenge has spread all across North America getting high school students to build their own micro wind turbine and testing them in a wind tunnel in a competition based on the energy output, design, documentation and knowledge of wind energy. It's a big hit and we were lucky enough to seet it first hand. Hear the kids game plan how they're going to improve their results, hear where they got their design inspiration from and be inspired about the next generation of students. 

 

Background

The International Wind Energy Academy hosts an annual event called the KidWind Challenge. As part of this challenge we have students in grades 9-12 design, build, and test their own 2 foot wind turbines in our fabricated wind tunnel. The event is free for participants and we provide certain materials while leaving the majority of the design and construction up to the students. The goal of this event is to get students excited to learn about science, engineering and renewable energy at a manageable scale.

Why:

To allow grade 9-12 Edmonton area students a chance to build and test hand-crafted wind turbines to see who can produce the greatest amount of electricity. (Keep in mind that the final score has many contributing factors besides electricty generation, see link below for rubric)

Part of team's score is based on certain questions and criteria which is in the hands of the judges. We need industry involvement to act as judges to speak with the students as part of this. Please see the judging rubric below for more information. We also provide prizes related to science, engineering and renewable energy to participants.