2024 KidWind Simulation Challenge

Join KidWind and Flinn Scientific’s WhiteBox Learning (WBL) to try your hand at building a simulated turbine! In this National Challenge, students use the WhiteBox Learning simulation software to construct and test virtual turbines and wind farms. In 2024 we are adding a new component where teams will use their knowledge from the Simulation to test small turbine blades using a kit we send you.

While learning the software takes a little time, students will not need any of their own materials to participate. The only requirement is an internet-connected computer (tablets are not supported) and the turbine kit we will mail out. View details on system requirements.

Simulation
Simulation
Simulation

What is the KidWind Simulation Challenge?

The KidWind Simulation Challenge started during COVID as a way for students to participate in a fully virtual wind challenge.

The Simulation Challenge has two main parts, and a new physical component.

Turbine Blade Design and Performance

Students will use a simplified CAD program to design complex blades and see how they perform on a KidWind scale turbine in different conditions. Students will learn a great deal about airfoils, physics, and other related fields as they design their blades. The material in this part of the simulation can get complex.

Wind Farm Design

In this part of the simulation, students must design and construct wind farms. They must take several factors into account to build a wind farm that produces the most power at the lowest cost. It is challenging!

The simulation is done in a game mode where participants earn points for how well their designs perform, how much they iterate on their designs, and how they do on quizzes. The simulation has 5 levels and it gets more challenging to complete each level as students progress.

Blade Construction & Turbine Testing

In 2024 we have added a new dimension to this challenge because we want students to experiment in the real world and see how well they can transfer knowledge from the game to real life.

Who can participate?

The content found in the KidWind Simulation Challenge is most appropriate for high school students who have taken a physics course. Middle school students can also participate but some of the physics concepts maybe challenging.

Students from anywhere in the world. We can only send KidWind Turbine Kits to coaches who are based in the US.

Divisions

There are middle school (6th-8th grades) and high school (9th-12th grades) divisions in the National Simulation Challenge. Students can participate alone or on a team.

If you want your students to be on a team, there are two ways to participate:

  • A student team gets ONE access code and they work together on the Challenge as a group.
  • Each student on the team gets an access code and each participant's performance in the simulation will be aggregated using an algorithm that includes all team members' scores.

Teams can be of any size and can be of mixed grade levels.

Simulation Challenge Events

Simulation Performance (80%)

The majority of your overall score will be derived from how well you and your teammates perform on the simulation based challenges of blade design and wind farm design.

Blade Construction & Turbine Testing (20%)

As many students have become very good at using the simulation to design blades and build wind farms, we want to see what you can do in the real world.

All coaches that register teams will be sent one Advanced Wind Turbine Kit where students can make and test blades. We hope that some of what they learn in the simulator will help them in the real world.

Students will post details about their turbine performance on the Online Wind Challenge page and will be evaluated on their performance, creativity, and how well the apply what they learned in the simulator.

Register for the Sim Challenge by February 14th in order to receive a free Advanced Wind Turbine Kit.

Scoring & Leaderboard

After February 15th, a bi-weekly leaderboard of the top performers will be posted. It will have all participants ranked by their performance scores and if they have uploaded a turbine to the Online Wind Challenge.

Timeline

December 20th Registration Opens
January 8th Access Codes Provided
January 18th Informational Webinar
March 15th Competition Ends
April 1st Top Performers Recognized

Informational Webinars

We hosted an informational webinar about the 2024 Simulation Challenge. You can watch the recording here.

Registration

Teams need to be registered by an educator, coach, or parent. It is free to register for this event. Once you register you will receive an email confirming registration and a shipping address.

After January 8th, you will receive codes and instructions to access the Simulation. We will also confirm your address so we can send you one Advanced Wind Turbine kit to test blades. We can only send one kit to each coach so teams will need to share amongst all students participating.