Fellow judges youth wind challenge

Date Posted: 
Friday, April 26, 2013

On Saturday April 13, 2013, IGERT Fellow Dylan Chase participated as a judge at the second annual Massachusetts KidWind Challenge at the Pioneer Valley Science and Sustainability Expo, hosted by Greening Greenfield, and held at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, MA.  The kid wind challenge, http://learn.kidwind.org/, is an initiative to teach students about wind energy. The participants had studied wind energy and the technology of generating electricity with a wind turbine, then designed and created their working model wind turbine, which was tested in a wind tunnel, and judged by wind energy engineers. The challenge was organized by Susan Reyes.

The event had participants from elementary and middle school ranging from 1st grade to 8th grade.  The following figures show a sampling of the wind turbine designs.  Many of the students did research and experimentation in completing their projects.  Many of the students experimented with: 1) the number of blades, 2) the shape of the blades, 3) the size of the blades, 4) the pitch angle of the blades and 5) gear ratios.  In addition some students went further and experimented with using an airfoil shaped blade as opposed to the flat blades which were used in most of the turbines.