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Center for Wind Energy

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K-12 Energy Education

The Center for Wind Energy promotes K-12 energy education throughout Virginia.  Some of the activities within this initiative include administering the Wind for Schools program and hosting annual Virginia KidWind Challenges.

                  

Wind for Schools

The US Department of Energy sponsors the Wind for Schools project to raise awareness in rural America about the benefits of wind energy while simultaneously developing a wind energy knowledge base in future leaders of our communities, states, and nation.
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To meet these objectives the Center provides the following activities to undergraduate and graduate students as well as K12 students throughout Virginia:

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The Center also provides assitance to schools interested in installing renewable energy systems on their campus.  We also provide advising as schools perform a preliminary, student-driven, structured research project addressing their current electricity use, energy 

conservation, and alternative energy options and logistics.  Schools can watch videos that introduce each phase of the research project on our YouTube Channel.

Schools that are ready to install technology receive assistance through the project development process including help 

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with permitting and introduction to an installer in their area to construct the project.  

Once a small wind system is up and running at a school, they are invited to share their turbine data with the OpenEI WInd for Schools Portal. Here students all over the world can access data from any wind turbine installed through the Wind for Schools program in the US.  

KidWind Challenge

The KidWind Challenge is a wind turbine design competition for middle and high school students. Teams of students incorporate engineering and science to build small-scale wind turbines and compete with other students from around Virginia to generate the most electricity.  Students also present to a panel of industry expert judges to defend their design and provide documentation of their process. This event is a chance to get students involved and excited about alternative energy and sustainability. On top of gaining teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving skills, students will learn key scientific concepts during their constructions.
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Each year, the Center hosts KidWind Challenges around Virginia.  We try to provide Challenges in multiple locations in order to make participating easy for as many as possible.  However, if students are not able to make the Challenges we provide, they are encouraged to participate in one of KidWind's online competitions.

In 2017, Virginia will be hosting three Regional Qualifying Challenges.  All of these Challenges are made possible through a generous grant from the Dominion Foundation.

Below are the dates and locations of each of the Regional Challenges:

  • Saturday, March 18th – Brock Environmental Center, Virginia Beach
  • Saturday, March 25th – George Mason University, Volgenau School of Engineering, Fairfax
  • Saturday, April 8th – Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, Clifton Forge

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NEW this year, we will be offering a First-Year Coach Mentoring Program as an alternative to past KidWind Challenge teacher workshops.  Educators interested in coaching a team for the first time for a 2017 KidWind Challenge event will be paired with a JMU student in either Engineering or Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) to work with you as a mentor and/or co-coach.  As part of the Mentoring Program, coaches will also receive a KidWind Challenge starter kit (includes a generator, hub, dowels, multi-meter, alligator clips, and a resistor board).  Please contact us by November 30th to request to participate in this new program.

For more information or questions or if you would like to be put on our mailing list, please contact us.