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Central Washington University

CWU Hosts KidWind Challenge April 27

With support from Puget Sound Energy, the second annual KidWind Challenge will come to Central Washington University April 27. KidWind is a program designed to inspire teachers and students to learn about clean energy science and technology.

"The challenge allows kids a hands-on exploration in all the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and math," said Scott Calahan, CWU professor of industrial/technology education, and facilitator of the challenge. "They learn early that engineering is fascinating--and fun."

At the KidWind Challenge, students design and construct small-scale wind turbines from scratch. The organization brings a custom-built, portable wind tunnel to the competition for student teams to test their wind turbines and see who can produce the most power.

“KidWind is a great way to teach children about the concepts of science,” said Charles Pringle, CWU professor of mechanical engineering, who is helping coordinate the event.

This year, first-, second-, and third-place teams in each grade division will receive cash prizes and all participants will receive KidWind Challenge t-shirts.

The KidWind Challenge is free for students to participate, and open to any students from grade 4 through 12. There are two separate age divisions for the competition—middle school (4-8 grade) and high school (9-12 grade).

The KidWind Challenge will take place in CWU’s Fluke Corporation Interdisciplinary Laboratory in Hogue Hall. Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. and wind tunnel testing begins at 11:00 a.m. The Challenge will end by 3:00 p.m. Parking in the N-19 and 20 lots is free. For more information about the April 27 challenge, go to learn.kidwind.org/workshops_events/state/washington/event/3331.

In 2000, Michael Arquin, a middle school teacher in Monterey, California, founded KidWind in 2002 out of his apartment basement. A decade later, KidWind has blossomed into an international project that has trained more than 7,000 teachers and impacted more than 500,000 students. KidWind has helped teachers and students build more than 50,000 experimental wind turbines. For more information about KidWind, go to learn.kidwind.org.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu

April 16, 2013