Start planning for a Challenge
You can participate and prepare for KidWind Challenges in many ways. Start by exploring the website and trying an online wind or solar challenge. This will help you get a feel for the kind of devices you have to build and the kind of data you need to provide at a KidWind Challenge Event. Once you are ready, take your devices on the road and participate in one of our KidWind Challenge events.
The online challenge allows students to construct and test wind turbines and/or solar structures, and share the results with the KidWind community. Anyone, anywhere, can participate online.
Every month we deliberate on the best projects and send prizes, t-shirts or other SWAG to the student winners. Monthly wind winners are also invited to the National KidWind Challenge.
There are no age or materials restrictions.
EVENT CHALLENGE (WIND & SOLAR: DEPENDING ON EVENT)
KidWind Challenge Events take place during the school year and are hosted by schools, community centers and organizations across the country. Please note that not every site will have both a wind and a solar challenge. To find details about your local event, check out the Events page for your particular event and/or contact the local organizer.
NATIONAL CHALLENGE (WIND ONLY, FOR NOW!)
Each year, the top 2 to 3 teams from our local wind events and the monthly winners from our online wind challenges are invited to participate in the National KidWind Challenge. For now, the National Challenge is focused on wind part of the KidWind Challenge, but we hope to expand this to include solar challenges in 2020.
READY TO GO?
Think you want to give the KidWind Challenge a shot? Here are the major steps!
1. Form a team
A team may consist of between 1–10 students. In our experience the ideal size is 2–3 students. Anyone between 4th–12th grade can compete in the KidWind Challenge. There are two age divisions: 4th–8th grade and 9th–12th grade.
2. Online, Event or Both?
When you find a Challenge that’s right for you, register your team and start getting ready. Depending on your event you may be asked to pay a small fee to hold your spot. These fees help to pay for the website, organization of the Challenge, and all the awesome learning resources.
3. Find a coach
Each team needs an adult coach. A coach can be anyone, from a classroom teacher to an enthusiastic parent. You don’t need to be a professional wind energy expert to be a good coach.
Coaches help teams gather the materials they need to build their wind turbine and make sure that students have the space and guidance they need to safely build and test their masterpiece.
4. Learn the rules
The KidWind Challenge rules document are our most thorough description of the guidelines for the KidWind Challenge Events. These documents are very detailed, so please read them carefully! If you’ve got lingering questions after perusing, don’t hesitate to ask us.
5. Learn about Wind & Solar Power
Over a period of a few weeks or months, you will design and construct wind turbines and/or solar structures! To accomplish this task, and arrive prepared at a Challenge, students must perform research to better understand the science of renewable energy, be analytical about testing protocols, think creatively about solutions to problems, and work collaboratively to complete their project on time.
The more organized and knowledgeable your team is, the better you will perform at the KidWind Challenge. Read up on renewable energy, reach out to professionals, watch videos, ask questions.
6. Gear Up
You can use all sorts of stuff you find around your house or classroom to build a solar structure or wind turbine. We know where to find the hard or specialized parts that make the process a little easier.
7. Build & Test
The best turbines and solar structures are the one your team spends hours tweaking and testing. There is a lot you can learn just by putting things together and testing it out.
8. Show Up
Make sure you know where you are going and what to expect when you get there!
We like to think of KidWind Challenges as a celebration of renewable energy knowledge! Come ready to learn, share and explore renewable energy.