May 11, 2021
Wildcat Wind Power students judge Kansas KidWind Competition
Seven members of the Kansas State University Wildcat Wind Power team served as judges for the 2021 Kansas KidWind Challenge. The team had recently been selected to compete in the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory's 2022 Collegiate Wind Competition.
Engineering Extension, in partnership with the Kansas Corporation Commission and Enel Green Power North America, has hosted the Kansas KidWind Challenge since 2018. Twenty-six teams from 10 schools — a total of 91 students — participated in the 2021 challenge.
The KidWind Challenge consists of teams of students researching, designing and building a portable wind turbine that is tested in a 4-foot-by-4-foot wind tunnel. As with many events in 2020-2021, the competition went virtual this year with teams testing turbines in their own workspace and submitting performance results.
In addition to testing their wind turbines, the KidWind teams submitted a five- to eight-minute video describing their design-and-build process. A panel of judges reviewed the video and provided comments by recording a "reaction video."
The Wildcat Wind Power team was invited to judge based on its participation in a wind competition at the collegiate level. Team members involved in judging were Mason Ericson, junior in civil engineering; Hayden Dillavou, senior in electrical engineering; Kavian Kalantari, senior in mechanical engineering; Adam Reelfs, senior in mechanical engineering; Brianna Wagoner, junior in electrical engineering; Matthew Monsion, senior in electrical engineering; and Marlaina Markwart, senior in management.
The Wildcat Wind Power team participated in four of six of the regional judges' panels and in one of the two judges' panels for the statewide challenges.
"Participation of the Wildcat Wind Power team was critical to the success of the KidWind Challenge, particularly this year when so many things had to be changed for the virtual format," said Yvonne Cook, coordinator of the KidWind Challenge.
"We loved having the judges' feedback videos," said Tatum Vogel, teacher and KidWind Coach for Dighton Middle School. "That was a great idea and the constructive feedback was so helpful."
The top two teams in each age division, fourth through eighth grades and ninth through 12th grades, will now receive invitations to advance to the virtual National KidWind Challenge. Winners of the 2021 Kansas KidWind Challenge are identified below:
Fourth- through eighth-grade division
First place — BTU Crew, Dighton Middle School
- Coach: Tatum Vogel.
- Student team members: Westin Johnson, Charlie Vogel, Hank Davis and Cordell Davis.
Second place — Team 2, Beloit Junior-Senior High School
- Coach: Christie Fouts.
- Student team members: Charlie Burke, Lundyn Knight and Mckenna Channell.
Ninth- through 12th-grade division
First place — Hawkmores, Wheatland High School,
- Coach: Diane Wetter.
- Student team members: Kerri Heier, Halle Habiger and Jett Vincent.
Second place — Just Levi, Paola Middle School
- Coach: Shari Hudgeons.
- Student team members: Emma Haley, Hazel Downum and Zander Holdsworth.
A fifth invitation to advance to the virtual National KidWind Challenge will be extended to the team that showed the most improvement from regional to state results. Members of this team are identified below:
Most Improved — Wind Jammers, Iola High School
- Coach: Lisa Wicoff.
- Student team members: Ethan Collins, Gage Scheibmeir, Walker Logan and Thomas Hall.