The Renewable Energy Program at Illinois State University hosted a KidWind Teacher Workshop on Saturday, February 11, 2017. The workshop was held in the Department of Technology’s Renewable Energy Lab, and was supported by EDP Renewables and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Michael Arquin, Director of KidWind, was the leader of the workshop. The KidWind Project produces interdisciplinary wind energy curriculum for grades 6-12, and the organization has been providing outstanding teacher-oriented wind energy workshops across the U.S. for 15 years. All KidWind lesson plans are freely available at www.kidwind.org. The workshop participants included 22 middle and high school teachers from 17 Illinois districts.
The teams from KidWind, Illinois State University, the University of Illinois, and Western Illinois University are currently in discussions to bring a KidWind Challenge event to Illinois during the 2017-2018 school year. A KidWind Challenge event consists of teams of middle or high school students that design and build a model wind turbine. The student teams bring their model wind turbine to the event location, and the turbines are tested inside a specially constructed wind tunnel. The winning team is the team that generates the most energy during the wind tunnel testing period. The top finishers at the local KidWind Challenge event will advance to the national competition, which is held at the annual American Wind Energy Association conference. The Spring 2018 American Wind Energy Association National Conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois in May 2018.