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K-State Today

March 24, 2023

Kansas Energy Program hosts Statewide KidWind Challenge on March 25

Submitted by David Carter

In addition to learning about wind energy, students learn many valuable skills through KidWind

In partnership with the Kansas Corporation Commission, the Kansas Energy Program in K-State Engineering Extension will host the Kansas Statewide KidWind Challenge from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Hotel Topeka at City Center.

The KidWind Challenge is open to the public. Area educators are encouraged to attend to find out more about KidWind and see the fun, excitement and learning firsthand.

Twenty-two teams from 17 Kansas schools will travel to Topeka on March 25 with their sights set on winning a state title in the Kansas KidWind Challenge. To qualify for the event, each team placed first or second in their age division at one of six regional competitions held throughout the state. The competition will determine the top two teams in each age bracket that will represent Kansas in the National KidWind Challenge in Boulder, Colorado.

The Kansas Energy Program conducted its first Kansas KidWind Challenge in Manhattan in 2018 with eight schools, 17 teams and 51 students. With its partnership with the Kansas Corporation Commission and contributions from corporate sponsors, the Kansas Energy Program has grown this STEM-related event to six regional challenges throughout the state and finished the 2023 KidWind Challenge with 55 schools, 96 teams and almost 400 students.

To prepare for the KidWind competition, team members work together to design, build and test a wind turbine using the materials of their choice. Each team's turbine will be put to the test in a 48-inch by 48-inch wind tunnel at a wind speed of approximately 3.5-5 meters per second. Scoring is based on turbine performance and efficiency, a knowledge quiz, an instant challenge and a presentation to judges where the team explains its design process.

KidWind is an Energy Education Event from the Kansas Corporation Commission and K-State Engineering Extension, made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The goal is to help students learn key concepts around science, technology, engineering and math in fun and engaging ways. The KidWind program actively engages students. It teaches STEM skills and promotes teamwork, problem solving and public speaking.