Getting Started

Typically, it takes about 6 months to plan, organize, and execute a KidWind Challenge with an associated training workshop.

Explore the road to the KidWind Challenge to find materials, video links, printables, tips, and resources to guide you through every step of the process. These are key steps you'll need to take to organize a successful KidWind Challenge:

  1. Find your team
  2. Pick the dates
  3. Secure a location
  4. Find funding for your Challenge
  5. Publicize your events

1. Find your team

While we’ve had some one-man shows out there, most of our Challenges are run by a team of folks with a variety of networks and know-how. We suggest tapping into local educator networks, science and education departments at the college level, and renewable energy industry organizations in your area to find a group of people who can work with you to make a Challenge happen.

2. Pick the dates

Once you have your people, start narrowing in on some dates for your Challenge and teacher training workshop.

The Workshop
KidWind’s post-workshop surveys indicate that over 80% of attending teachers successfully incorporate the activities and equipment from the workshop in their classrooms. This – in addition to word of mouth from students, teachers, and the media – leads to programmatic growth over time. The teacher workshops are one of the best methods to spread interest and engage more educators in the KidWind Challenge, while ensuring that students are learning and applying classroom information when competing.

We suggest hosting a workshop 3-5 months before your Challenge. The workshops can take a lot of forms, from day-long events to 2-hour meetings after school. Some organizers have built relationships with their local school districts or teachers unions to offer the training as part of official professional development opportunities, some have held workshops as half-day or day-long events over the weekend, others hold them on a weekday after school. In some larger districts, you might even consider hosting multiple workshops.

The Challenge
Most organizers plan their Challenges between February and April. This allows for teachers, and you, to have the time to fully prepare for the event.

Other things you will want to consider when selecting a Challenge date:

  • When are your area’s schools on vacation?
  • When is state testing?
  • What is your teams' availability? Keep in mind that the week of the Challenge will be all hands on deck to get the last minute things in order!
  • The National KidWind Challenge is typically the last week of May or first week of June. You will likely need at least a month between your Challenge and Nationals to take care of paperwork and fundraising that will allow your local winners to attend.
  • Do you need time to find sponsors for the event?

3. Secure a location

Once you have some date options, find a location for the Challenge! Communicate with your networks and consider your budget. We’d suggest hosting your first Challenge at a free location that you know and where you have broad and reliable access.

Here are where some organizers have hosted Challenges:

  • Local schools (it’s usually free!)
  • Local college or university
  • Community center
  • Science museum
  • Libraries
  • Renewable energy company offices

Some things to consider:

  • Is there WIFI access? You may need this if you are using the online scoring calculator.
  • Do you need a projector/screen to display turbine information?
  • Does it have enough rooms for judging and instant challenges?
  • Is there enough space to hold all the teams? Challenges can have upwards of 200 people when coaches, parents and siblings are counted!
  • Don’t forget to sign a contract!

Once you have your team, your date, and your location, complete this form to notify KidWind of your events and get them up on our website! You can update this info at anytime.

4. Find funding for your Challenge

Take a look at a guide to how to fund a KidWind Challenge. Figure out a budget then start looking for some partners and sponsors!


Budgets for workshops and Challenges can vary widely across contexts. There are lots of factors and choices that impact these costs. Consider the following choices:

→ Do you have WindSenators or REcharge Instructors living near you that can help organize and execute?

  • NO. Bummer - we need to ship you some help!
  • YES. Awesome - less travel and time!

→ Have there been KidWind Challenges in your area before?

  • NO. You’ll need to host lots of trainings and get your hands on a lot of gear to give out to prospective coaches.
  • YES. This will likely reduce costs since you won’t need to hold lots of trainings and won’t need to give any gear away.

→ Do you want to hold some kind of pre-event training?

  • NO. You’ll save dollars, but you may have trouble getting enough participation.
  • YES. You’ll need to spend some money, but will likely have a better turnout.

→ Do you want to do all the work or do you want some of staff to come and help?

  • SOLO. You’ll save money if you do it yourself, since we will need to pay for travel and time for any staff.
  • STAFF. It is often nice to have some expert instructors with you at your first Challenge!

→ Do you want to provide gear and stipends to teachers?

  • NO. Cheaper, but makes participation more difficult.
  • YES. Adds costs, but helps encourage participation.

→ Do you want to offer prizes and t-shirts?

  • NO. Cheaper - but less exciting.
  • YES. Fun - but costs money!

→ Do you have a wind tunnel and Vernier data logging gear?

  • NO. Less cost upfront, but we will need to arrange for an instructor to bring theirs, or you’ll have to pay for us to ship one to you.
  • YES. Great, this will reduce costs.

Here are some basic numbers:

Workshop Budget: $8850 (25 teachers)

Staff Time (Planning, Facilitation) $2000
Staff Travel (Varies) $1000
Logistics $600
Gear for Teachers ($150/teacher) $3750
Catering ($20/teacher) $500
Space Rental Varies
Optional: Sub Support ($100/teacher) $2500
Optional: Travel Support ($50/teacher) $1250

Challenge Budget: $8,000 (20 teams/15 coaches/100 students)

Staff Time (Planning, Facilitation) $3000
Staff Travel (Varies) $1000
KidWind Logistical Support $500
Catering for Students/Coaches/Volunteers ($15/person) $2000
Space Rental Varies
Optional: Sub Support ($100/teacher)
Optional: Travel Support ($100/teachers) $2000
Optional: Prizes or Trophies $2000
Optional: T-shirts ($10/person) $1150
Optional: Additional Materials for Teams to Prepare ($100-$200/team)
Optional: Wind Tunnel ($600-$3000, see details below)

Finding a Wind Tunnel

Organizers can either buy, rent, or build their own wind tunnel.

You can buy this wind tunnel from Vernier, through KidWind, for $3000, or rent it for $600 (round trip shipping). Contact Mike at to rent or by a wind tunnel from KidWind.

You can also make your own wind tunnel using these instructions

Finding Funding

KidWind has held Challenges that have had 30K budgets and ones that have 2K budgets and both can be awesome! You will likely want to tap into local networks and organizations to get some funds to get started. Sometimes organizations can partner with you to provide material goods needed to run the event like space, equipment, staffing and/or food. Sometimes organizations prefer to just give you the money for you to spend as you see fit. Both of these types of support can help your event be more robust.

Try hitting up the following folks to partner or sponsor the event:

  • School districts
  • Community centers or libraries
  • Local STEM associated companies
  • Local energy companies
  • Boy/Girl Scout Troops or 4H Clubs
  • Local solar or wind installers
  • Electricians unions
  • Local colleges or universities - think departments/centers and student clubs/chapters

Here is a Partner Inquiry Email Template to get you started with your partner search.

Here is a sponsorship outreach template that you can use with possible sponsors.

5. Publicize your events!

You’ll have to really get out there to inform people of the events. Mock up a flier for the event and a press release that you can use to share the event locally.

While every local context and hosting team is different, organizer’s have found the following pathways effective:

  • Send it out through education listservs like the Science Matters listserv, a listserv through National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) available in each state.
  • Contact your state and district science organizations to place information in their newsletter.
  • Post and email flyers.
  • Get in touch with your local teachers union chapters.
  • Don’t forget 4H, girl and boy scout troop chapters, and local homeschooling networks.
  • Email every science and technology teacher in your area!