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Watt's in the News? - Volume 8

Now that everyone is settled into the school year, here's a chance to do some long-range planning for you and your students. As a xc and track & field coach, I always wanted each athlete and the team to have goals for the season. This can be just as effective for students in the classroom.

With that in mind, here is an engaging nation-wide STEM competition to consider adding to your calendar:

Kansas KidWind Challenge (two divisions: grades 4-8 & 9-12) 

If you aren't familiar with the KidWind Challenge, this is a national STEM competition that is growing across the country and provides a great opportunity for students to work on the most needed skills we identified earlier - Data Science, Communication, & Creativity. If you haven't been to one of these competitions, here's a short highlight video from the 2022 Kansas KidWind Challenge:

The KidWind Challenge is a great STEM/PBL activity that helps promote career awareness and aligns with standards in the NGSS, too: (one example of many)

Fourth Grade NGSS - 4-PS3 Energy

4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.*

While this is called a KidWind Challenge, we tend to think of it more like a celebration of wind power. The overall goal is to have fun building a device that converts moving wind into electricity. If along the way you learn some physics, engineering, environmental science and policy -- that is great!

The more time you spend doing each of these tasks, the better prepared your team will be and the more fun you will have at your KidWind Challenge. Some teams will spend months preparing, others just a few weeks. Like all things the more time you put in the better your end products will be!

A big "Thank you!" to the Kansas Energy Program and their team for all of their work to help plan and host these events in Kansas.

2023 National KidWind Challenge

This past year an off-shore wind team event (a wave tank in a wind tunnel?!) was added at the national challenge and more ideas are in the works. We will share more details soon. Stay tuned!

Have a great week!

There are three basic steps to participating in a KidWind Challenge:

  • PLAN your team and your turbine, and do background research.
  • BUILD an innovative and functional turbine that will produce a lot of power.  
  • TEST your turbine and calculate its power output to improve your design.

Mark your calendars now! 2023 Regional Kansas KidWind Challenge dates:

KidWind Challenges

Do you live and teach in a school outside of Kansas? You can find challenges being scheduled in other states and options for virtual competition here:

Tate Honaker

Meet Dan WhislerTrane Educator in Residence

Tate Honaker

Meet Bill NelsonTrane Educator in Residence

Learn more about Trane's STEM Education Programs