Kansas KidWind winners prepare to advance to national competition

The winners of Kansas KidWind State Finals are advancing to their next challenge in the...
The winners of Kansas KidWind State Finals are advancing to their next challenge in the national competition.(PRNewswire)
Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 11:22 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The winners of Kansas KidWind State Finals are advancing to their next challenge in the national competition.

Kansas Corporation Commission said the National KidWind Challenge is scheduled for May 14-17 in Boulder, Colo. To qualify for the national competition, teams first had to capture one of the top two spots in their age division during regional competitions and then win one of the top three spots in their age group at the State Finals.

The teams representing Kansas in the national competition include:

4th - 8th Grade Division:

  • 1st place - Hutch STEM Blue – Allen STEM Magnet School – USD 308.
  • Coaches: Tara Urban and Jes Brockleman
  • Team Members: Dalton Urban, Liam Clark, Zoey Schletzbaum, and Gatlin Leopp
  • 2nd place – W2 (“W squared”) – Oakley School District, USD 274
  • Coach: Morgan Berkgren
  • Team Members: Maddox Hubert, Gage Eberle, Jayde Kahle, Kylee Hodges, Emma Mandeville, and Zoe Meyers
  • 3rd place – Los Girasoles Ventosos (The Windy Sunflowers) – Beloit Jr/Sr High School, USD 273
  • Coach: Christie Fouts
  • Team Members: Tripp Stillwell, Brylee LePon, and Rilee Lundine

9th - 12th Grade Division:

  • 1st place – The Goblins – Beloit High School, USD 273
  • Coaches: Grant Deneke and Christie Fouts
  • Team Members: Jayce Offutt, Jackson Cheney, Luke Cheney, Charlie Burke, and Jayc Darnall
  • 2nd place – Cru Winds – Buhler High School, USD 313
  • Coaches: Curtis Morgan and James Gazaway
  • Team Members: Andrew Morgan and Isaak Neighbor
  • 3rd place – Burlington Wind Company – Burlington High School, USD 244
  • Coaches: Bryan Bruening and Jan Martin
  • Team Members: Logan Curten, Michael Ianacone, and Isaac Rinker

Kansas Corporation Commission said team members work together to design, build and test a wind turbine using the materials of their choice to prepare for competition in the KidWind Challenge. Turbines are put to the test at each level of the competition in a 48″ x 48″ 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.

Kansas Corporation Commission said last year, three Kansas teams earned honors at the National KidWind Challenge.

  • Hutch STEM Blue from STEM Magnet School at Allen Elementary was named Elementary Division National Champions,
  • Wind Chill from Dighton Middle School won the Innovator Award, and
  • Gerald La Turbina from Beloit Jr/Sr High school won the Judges Award.

Kansas Corporation Commission noted 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.