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Kansas KidWind Challenge sees a record number of participants

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – In 2023, the Kansas KidWind Challenge will welcome a record number of participants to put their home-built wind turbines to the test.

As the amount of wind energy produced in Kansas grows, the Kansas Corporation Commission says so is the number of students participating in the Kansas KidWind Challenge. The annual event has grown from one regional challenge in 2016 to six in 2022.

The KCC noted that the 2023 competition promises to be bigger than ever with 96 teams from 55 schools competing. In 2022, only 56 teams from 26 schools competed.

The Commission has indicated that the challenge begins Tuesday, February 14 at 9 a.m. with two regional races in western Kansas. The first will be held in Dodge City for 443 USD. The second challenge this week will be held on Thursday at 9:00 am in Okaley at the Northwest Kansas Education Services Center.

KCC said four more regional events will be held in Overland Park, Hutchinson, Manhattan and Burlington before the top two teams in each age group advance to the state finals scheduled for March 25 in Topeka. The state winners will then proceed to the national competition to be held May 14-17 in Boulder, Colo.

The Commission noted that three Kansas teams won national titles in 2022.

To participate in the challenge, the KCC said student teams work together to design, build and test a wind turbine with materials of their choice. Each turbine is put through its paces in a wind tunnel and scores are based on that performance, a knowledge quiz, a presentation to the judges and an instant challenge. Fourth through twelfth grade students are eligible.

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