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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
1525 Mid-Campus Drive North
Manhattan, KS 66506

February 26, 2020

K-State Engineering Extension wins 2020 Vernier Engineering Contest

Submitted by David Carter

The Kansas Energy Program housed at K-State Engineering Extension won the 2020 Vernier Engineering Contest for its wind energy education efforts with KidWind Challenges. The $5,500 award is presented to one educator — a middle school, high school, or college instructor — who is innovatively using Vernier sensors to introduce engineering concepts or engineering practices to their students.

The Kansas Energy Program uses Vernier products and sensors in all of the KidWind Challenges it conducts throughout the state of Kansas. The program has quadrupled the number of schools participating in these competitions, from eight schools and 17 teams in 2018 to 37 schools and 62 teams in 2020. In recent years, the Kansas Energy Program also collaborated with Kevin Wanklyn to host wind challenges at the collegiate level; teams of engineering students enrolled in Introduction to Mechanical Engineering design and build a functional wind turbine, which the Kansas Energy Program then tests in its portable wind tunnel.

The $5,500 award includes a $1,000 check, $1,500 in travel expenses to either the National Science Teaching Association STEM conference or the American Society for Engineering Education conference, and $3,000 in Vernier equipment. It also includes a trophy, to be presented at whichever conference the awardee attends.

"We are very grateful to receive this award," said David Carter, director of the Kansas Energy Program. "We appreciate the recognition for our program, of course, but, more importantly, the $3,000 in equipment will allow us to expand the program and provide even more schools and students the opportunity to explore wind energy."

Read more information about KidWind or contact Carter at 785-532-4998.