Middle-school students from throughout northwestern Iowa completed in the KidWind Project Challenge, designing wind turbines for the greatest efficiency, in the second day of WindTech 2013 at the Iowa Lakes Community College Estherville campus on Wednesday.
The Challenge was a project funded by a scale-up grant and is part of the regional STEM initiative. Kari Webb, regional STEM coordinator, is based on Iowa Lakes campus.
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds visited with the young engineers in the morning before giving the noon keynote address with judging in the afternoon. Judging was based on the greatest among of electric output of each turbine.
Taking first place was the Spartans team of Spalding Catholic. Two Emmetsburg teams, ABC MM and Atomic Wind Fair, took the Judges' Choice and third place, respectively. Taking second was the Kix team of Ridgeview.
Alex Gramowski, member of a third Emmetsburg team, Cool Wind, said his team built their turbine during and after school. The entire project took a month, said fellow team member Cody Wilke.
So what was the biggest part of the Challenge?
"Trying to get it finished on time," Alex said.
Jill Galvin of another Ridgeview team said it took two weeks of actual work for her team to finish their turbine, and a month overall for the program. She said she learned how their pitch determines how fast or slow the blades spin.