KidWind Teams Advance to National Competition

Following the state competition in Salina over the weekend, winners of the Kansas KidWind State Finals are gearing up for their next challenge – the World KidWind Challenge scheduled for May 5-8, 2024 in Minneapolis, MN.

According to the Kansas Corporation Commission,  to qualify for the world competition teams first had to capture one of the top two spots in their age division during regional competitions, then win one of the top three spots in their age group at the State Finals.

The winning teams representing Kansas are:

4th- 8th Grade Division

  • 1st place – Hutch STEM Blue – Allen STEM Magnet School – USD 308
    Coaches: Keith Gable and Tara Urban
    Team Members: Samarah Bushue, Audden Guillen, Gatlin Loepp, and Dalton Urban
  • 2nd place – Beloit Breeze Club – Beloit Jr/Sr High School – USD 273
    Coach: Christie Fouts
    Team Members: Colby Albert, Brylee Lepon, Rilee Lundine, and Tripp Stillwell
  • 3rd place – Black Bears – Sterling Jr/Sr High School – USD 376
    Coach: Sydney Wilson
    Team Members: Elizabeth Buchberger, Josie Heter, James McGlynn, and Stokley Smith

9th-12th Grade Division

  • 1st place – W2 – Oakley High School – USD 274
    Coaches: Morgan Berkgren
    Team Members: Gage Eberle, Kylee Hodges, Maddox Hubert, Emma Mandeville, and Zoe Myers
  • 2nd place – Burlington Wind Company BLKT – Burlington High School – USD 244
    Coach: Bryan Bruening
    Team Members: Brendan Devening, Logan Ferrara, Kasten Payer, and Tate Sowder
  • 3rd place – Burlington Wind Company MICZA – Burlington High School – USD 244
    Coaches: Bryan Bruening
    Team Members: Matthew Dekat, Ivy Ziva Elmore, Caden Hartpence, and Isaac Rinker

To prepare for competition in the KidWind Challenge, team members work together to design, build and test a wind turbine using the materials of their choice. At each level of competition (regional, state and national), turbines are 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.

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.