News Release

For more information contact: Peter Barstad, (785) 271-3188

April 15, 2024

Kansas Kidwind teams advance to national competition

TOPEKA - The winners of last weekend’s Kansas KidWind State Finals are now gearing up for their next challenge – the World KidWind Challenge scheduled for May 5-8, 2024 in Minneapolis, MN.  To qualify for the world competition, teams first had to capture one of the top two spots in their age division during regional competitions, then win one of the top three spots in their age group at the State Finals.

The winning teams representing Kansas are:

4th- 8th Grade Division

1st place – Hutch STEM Blue - Allen STEM Magnet School - USD 308
Coaches: Keith Gable and Tara Urban
Team Members: Samarah Bushue, Audden Guillen, Gatlin Loepp, and Dalton Urban

2nd place – Beloit Breeze Club - Beloit Jr/Sr High School - USD 273
Coach: Christie Fouts
Team Members: Colby Albert, Brylee Lepon, Rilee Lundine, and Tripp Stillwell

3rd place – Black Bears - Sterling Jr/Sr High School - USD 376
Coach: Sydney Wilson
Team Members: Elizabeth Buchberger, Josie Heter, James McGlynn, and Stokley Smith

9th-12th Grade Division

1st place – W2 – Oakley High School – USD 274
Coaches: Morgan Berkgren
Team Members: Gage Eberle, Kylee Hodges, Maddox Hubert, Emma Mandeville, and Zoe Myers

2nd place – Burlington Wind Company BLKT – Burlington High School – USD 244
Coach: Bryan Bruening
Team Members: Brendan Devening, Logan Ferrara, Kasten Payer, and Tate Sowder

3rd place – Burlington Wind Company MICZA – Burlington High School – USD 244
Coaches: Bryan Bruening
Team Members: Matthew Dekat, Ivy Ziva Elmore, Caden Hartpence, and Isaac Rinker

To prepare for competition in the KidWind Challenge, team members work together to design, build and test a wind turbine using the materials of their choice. At each level of competition (regional, state and national), turbines are put to the test in a 48" × 48" wind tunnel at a wind speed of approximately 3.5-5 m/s (meters per second). Scoring is based on turbine performance and efficiency, a knowledge quiz, an instant challenge, and a presentation to judges where the team explains its design process.

KidWind is an Energy Education Event from the Kansas Corporation Commission and K-State Engineering Extension made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The goal is to help students learn key concepts around science, technology, engineering, and math in fun and engaging ways. The KidWind program actively engages students. It teaches not only STEM skills, but also promotes teamwork, problem solving and public speaking.