Kidwind Challenge

Ages:Elementary, Middle School, High School

Types:Submission, Performance

Categories:engineering, Environment, Physics, STEM

Scope:National

This competition has not yet posted any deadlines.

While this is called a KidWind Challenge, we tend to think of it more like a celebration of wind power. The overall goal is to have fun building a device that converts moving wind into electricity. If along the way you learn some physics, engineering, environmental science and policy -- that is great! There are three basic steps to participating in a KidWind Challenge:

  • PLAN your team and your turbine, and do background research.
  • BUILD an innovative and functional turbine that will produce a lot of power.
  • TEST your turbine and calculate its power output to improve your design.
The more time you spend doing each of these tasks, the better prepared your team will be and the more fun you will have at your KidWind Challenge. Some teams will spend months preparing, others just a few weeks. Like all things the more time you put in the better your end products will be!

Student teams create their own small scale wind turbines and are judged on how much electricity they can generate! Teams first participate in regional events held across the US. Then teams selected for the final program are invited to the national championship and tested in a large wind-tunnel. Each team’s turbine will be tested for one minute in our 48" × 48" wind tunnel at a wind speed of approximately 3.5-5 m/s. You are probably used to one small fan in your classroom. Our tunnels are very different!

At high wind speeds, sometimes flimsy blades start to bend and hit your tower, causing the whole thing to go out of balance. Make sure you're ready for the real deal by thoroughly testing at low wind speeds to try to reduce even the smallest blade bending and shaking. Things will only get worse as things speed up!

On Challenge day, before performance testing, student teams will be given a reasonable amount of time to test drive their devices in the wind tunnel. You will also be given time to tweak your turbine in the tunnel before actual testing begins.

Your team’s turbine will be assessed by four categories, each weighted differently, as shown in 2016 Judging Rubric. So brush up on your turbine knowledge, find the best materials and parts you can get your hands on, and have some fun along the way.
  • Energy produced: The judges will use Vernier data-logging tools to record the total energy output of each turbine over a 60-second trial period. They collect this data in milliwatt-seconds or joules. Your team’s energy output will be ranked relative to other competing teams and you’ll receive points corresponding to this rank.
  • Turbine design: Judges will closely inspect the parts of your wind turbine. They will also conduct a brief interview with your entire team to understand why you chose the parts you did and why you think they work.
  • Documentation of design: You must produce some type of documentation that reflects your design process and your knowledge of wind energy science. It’s up to each team to determine how to document this part of your project. We’ve seen short reports, engineer’s notebooks, videos, Powerpoints, posters, and so on.
  • Knowledge of subject matter: Throughout the KidWind Challenge, the judges will come around to each team to ask some general questions about wind and renewable energy. They are doing this to see if your team has gained some real wind energy knowledge while you created your wind turbine.
This competition has not yet listed it's awards.

Website: https://www.kidwindchallenge.org

Managing Organization: Kidwind Project

Contact:


Entry Fee: $0

This competition is open to students in Elementary, Middle School, High School.

This competition has not yet posted any deadlines.

Overview

While this is called a KidWind Challenge, we tend to think of it more like a celebration of wind power. The overall goal is to have fun building a device that converts moving wind into electricity. If along the way you learn some physics, engineering, environmental science and policy -- that is great! There are three basic steps to participating in a KidWind Challenge:
  • PLAN your team and your turbine, and do background research.
  • BUILD an innovative and functional turbine that will produce a lot of power.
  • TEST your turbine and calculate its power output to improve your design.
The more time you spend doing each of these tasks, the better prepared your team will be and the more fun you will have at your KidWind Challenge. Some teams will spend months preparing, others just a few weeks. Like all things the more time you put in the better your end products will be!

Process

Student teams create their own small scale wind turbines and are judged on how much electricity they can generate! Teams first participate in regional events held across the US. Then teams selected for the final program are invited to the national championship and tested in a large wind-tunnel. Each team’s turbine will be tested for one minute in our 48" × 48" wind tunnel at a wind speed of approximately 3.5-5 m/s. You are probably used to one small fan in your classroom. Our tunnels are very different!

At high wind speeds, sometimes flimsy blades start to bend and hit your tower, causing the whole thing to go out of balance. Make sure you're ready for the real deal by thoroughly testing at low wind speeds to try to reduce even the smallest blade bending and shaking. Things will only get worse as things speed up!

On Challenge day, before performance testing, student teams will be given a reasonable amount of time to test drive their devices in the wind tunnel. You will also be given time to tweak your turbine in the tunnel before actual testing begins.

Criteria

Your team’s turbine will be assessed by four categories, each weighted differently, as shown in 2016 Judging Rubric. So brush up on your turbine knowledge, find the best materials and parts you can get your hands on, and have some fun along the way.
  • Energy produced: The judges will use Vernier data-logging tools to record the total energy output of each turbine over a 60-second trial period. They collect this data in milliwatt-seconds or joules. Your team’s energy output will be ranked relative to other competing teams and you’ll receive points corresponding to this rank.
  • Turbine design: Judges will closely inspect the parts of your wind turbine. They will also conduct a brief interview with your entire team to understand why you chose the parts you did and why you think they work.
  • Documentation of design: You must produce some type of documentation that reflects your design process and your knowledge of wind energy science. It’s up to each team to determine how to document this part of your project. We’ve seen short reports, engineer’s notebooks, videos, Powerpoints, posters, and so on.
  • Knowledge of subject matter: Throughout the KidWind Challenge, the judges will come around to each team to ask some general questions about wind and renewable energy. They are doing this to see if your team has gained some real wind energy knowledge while you created your wind turbine.

Awards

This competition has not yet listed it's awards.

Participate

Website: https://www.kidwindchallenge.org

Managing Organization: Kidwind Project

Contact:


Entry Fee: $0

This competition is open to students in Elementary, Middle School, High School.

Deadlines

This competition has not yet posted any deadlines.