Independent Middle School Students Win Regional Wind Turbine Competition - Headed to State Championship
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) elective class at the Independent School in Wichita, Kansas had four teams participate in the KidWind Challenge on Thursday, February 24th at Hutchinson Community College. David Carter, Director of the Kansas Energy Program describes KidWind as "a fun, interactive way to teach STEM to students, to learn through failure and improvement, and to teach valuable life skills like teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, public speaking, and overcoming adversity. But, mostly, it’s fun!"
Teams of students competed to design a wind turbine that could produce the most electricity in a wind tunnel. They also had to make a presentation in front of a panel of judges, complete a knowledge quiz, and do an "instant challenge" related to wind energy production. The Terrible Turbines (Alexander Lewis, Daniel Li, and Avery Abongo) won first place at the competition, qualifying them to compete at the state level. Independent also took third place with the Blue Hurricanes (Leni-Kate Litnzer, Hitha Ganganala, Veena Muthukumar, and Neel Reddy). The Drag-Ons (Ferris Olson, Avery Pollack, and Ben Gao) won the Judge's Award for their perseverance in the face of adversity.
Their teacher and coach, Julie Couch, says "Our teams worked hard every day since the first day of the semester, using the engineering design process to create and continuously improve their designs. They did it all themselves - my role as a coach is to inspire and get out of their way. I am so proud of their accomplishments!"
The Terrible Turbines will compete against 20 teams at the state KidWind Challenge on April 2nd in Topeka, Kansas. Winners of this challenge will compete in the National KidWind Challenge in San Antonio, TX in May.