TOPEKA – Twenty-two teams from 17 Kansas schools will travel to Topeka on Saturday 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. Saturday’s competition will determine the top two teams in each age bracket that will represent Kansas in the National KidWind Challenge in Boulder, CO.
The state finals will be held at Hotel Topeka at City Center, next door to the Stormont Vail Events Center, beginning at 9 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. Area educators are encouraged to attend to find out more about KidWind and see the fun, excitement and learning firsthand. The event is gaining momentum – this year’s challenge was the largest ever with 96 teams from 55 schools competing compared to 56 teams from 26 schools last year.
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″ × 48″ wind tunnel at a wind speed of approximately 3.5-5 m/s (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.
Teams participating in the state finals are listed below:
4th-8th Grade Division
- Dynamic Duo – Mize Elementary School – Shawnee
- Los Girasoles Ventosos – Beloit Jr/Sr High School – Beloit
- The Hurricanes – Sunflower Elementary School – Paola
- Big Wind 6 – Dighton Middle School – Dighton
- Beloit Wind Club – Beloit Jr/Sr High School – Beloit
- Hutch STEM Blue – Allen STEM Magnet School – Hutchinson
- Anubis – Paola Middle School – Paola
- Cyclones – Sterling Jr/Sr High School – Sterling
- The Whoochers! – Starside Elementary School – DeSoto
- W2 (W Squared) – Oakley School District – Oakley
- Rising Sun – Kepley Middle School – Ulysses
- Wind Train, Oakley School District – Oakley
9th-12th Grade Division
- Blew – Spearville High School – Spearville
- D.I. Wires – Paola High School – Paola
- Stormi Aire – Baldwin City High School – Baldwin City
- Cru Winds – Buhler High School – Buhler
- Wind Warriors – Olathe West High School – Olathe
- Thunderhawks – Wheatland High School – Grainfield
- Aquarians – Sterling High School – Sterling
- Wind Power – Oakley School District – Oakley
- The Goblins – Beloit High School – Beloit
- Burlington Wind Company – USD 244 – Burlington
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 not only STEM skills, but also promotes teamwork, problem solving and public speaking.