Alaska Wind for Schools
Alaska Wind for Schools – teaching Alaska’s youth about sustainable energy
REAP is the State Facilitator for the Wind for Schools program in Alaska, and led the effort, along with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP), to have Alaska added in 2010 to the list of 11 states accepted to this national program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America program. The program aims to raise awareness about the benefits of wind energy while simultaneously developing a STEM and energy-related knowledge base in Alaska’s youth.
Alaska Wind for Schools provides teacher trainings, helps implement hands on-curricula, and holds a wind turbine design competition for students in grades 6-12 called the KidWind Challenge. Using wind energy as a keystone, students learn about energy science, energy sources, climate change, physics, mathematics, and energy.
In the past, the centerpiece of the Alaska Wind for Schools program has been helping schools install small turbines at their schools. As of December 2012, seven Skytream 3.7 turbines have been installed with assistance from Alaska Wind for Schools. The first Alaskan school to install a turbine was Sherrod Elementary in Palmer. Teachers and students capture data from the turbines and use it in a variety of classroom experiences and lessons.
Who can participate?
Starting in 2014, Alaska Wind for Schools is using a new model that focuses on Alaska communities that have established utility wind power system and works within those communities to develop relationships between schools and students and the renewable energy systems that are having a real-life impact in their lives. If you live in a community with a utility scale wind project, please contact us about how Alaska Wind for Schools can help you integrate wind energy education.
Alaska Wind for Schools also has resource for schools around the state, whether or not they have wind in their community. Many schools participate with curricula even though they do not have a turbine, and the program is working on ways for schools with turbines to share data with other schools around the state. Additionally, the KidWind Challenge is open to any middle or high school in Alaska. Please contact us for more information.
Alaska Wind for Schools turbine locations:
- Sherrod Elementary School, Palmer: Alaska’s first Wind for Schools turbine, a Skystream 3.7, installed in November 2009.
- Coast Guard, Juneau: The U.S. Coast Guard installed a Skystream 3.7 turbine at Station Juneau in October 2010. The Coast Guard Partnership in Education program is working with Wind for Schools and the Juneau School District to provide data from the turbines and educational opportunities for students to learn about wind energy.
- Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Sitka: Mt. Edgecumbe High School installed a Skystream 3.7 turbine at the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Maple Moorings facility, which is located next to Mt. Edgecumbe. The turbine was installed in December 2010 and was the second in Alaska for the Coast Guard and the third in the state for the Wind for Schools in Alaska program.
- Mat-Su College, Palmer: Mat-Su College installed a Skystream 3.7 turbine in the spring of 2011. The turbine is used by students in conjunction with the Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Renewable Energy program at the school.
- Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center (NACTEC), Nome: NACTEC installed a Skystream 3.7 turbine on October 15, 2011. In September 2011, students from the villages of Golovin, Koyuk, Nome, Shaktoolik, and Teller participated in a Renewable Energy Course and worked alongside Bering Straits Development Company construction workers to construct the tower foundation. In October, a second class of students helped install the turbine.
- Begich Middle School, Anchorage: After a two year process involving the first Wind for Schools municipal permitting scenario in the state, Begich Middle School installed their turbine in February 2012. The data is used in specific classroom lessons and is now on a display kiosk in the school entry way so the entire school can monitor the wind power being generated in their own backyard.
- Kodiak High School, Kodiak: After solving initial citizen concerns, the Kodiak Island Borough School District installed their Skystream 3.7 wind turbine in October 2012. The US Coast Guard is a partner in this installation as it has been in several other Alaska Wind for Schools projects. Kodiak Electric Association, a pioneer in renewable energy in Alaska, assisted with the installation as did several other local sponsors.
Each year the quality and ingenuity of the Alaskan students participating in the challenge grows. The KidWind Challenge Organizing Team is excited to see the innovative ideas our Alaskan students use to produce their wind turbines. There are some changes to this year’s Challenge so make sure to read all of the information provided below.
2014 Challenge Schedule
*If these dates do not fit within your timeframe, please let the organizers know. It may be possible to schedule a community visit/school challenge apart from this official version.
Anytime – Applications (attached) for the KidWind Design Challenge must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. The statewide competition runs from September 1st to May 31st.
February 28th – For consideration in the 2014 Challenge, classroom competition results have to be submitted prior to February 28th, 2014. If this does not work for your schools timing please indicate that in your application packet.
March 18th – April 1st – KidWind Challenge Judges will travel to top 3 qualifying schools to evaluate and grade the students final wind turbine project. If this does not work for your schools timing please indicate that in your application packet.
April 18th – Team Presentations are due no later than close of business. Email to email@example.com.
May 1st – KidWind Challenge Champions will be awarded!
HINT 1 from the Judges: To ensure the best scores for teams, group leaders should ensure the students are performing their practice tests with resistors (see attached diagram for wiring resistors). During the competition, our Design Challenge Judge will be using a 10 OHM resistor to the turbines to ensure consistent loads. Testing your turbines with resistors prior the competition may prevent surprises or disappointments during the Challenge.
HINT 2 from the Judges: As with industrial size wind turbines, STABILITY is always an important factor contributing to the output of a turbine.
Prerequisites for PLACEMENT in the KidWind Challenge
- Signed Model Waiver/Photo Waiver for each student and teacher. Photo Waivers of students MUST be signed by their parent/guardians, these are part of the attached teacher packet.
- Design Statement (presentation/ report) submitted on or before April 18, 2014 with appropriate identifying information included: team name, team members names (first and last), division (middle or high school), school name, teachers name(s).
- YES NO (can run, can’t place) Did the turbine use the KidWind generator?
- For FREE Curriculum on Wind Energy go to: http://learn.kidwind.org/windwise
Thank you for your interest in the 2014 KidWind Competition!
Alaska’s KidWind Challenge is Supported By Shell
Who we are
Renewable Energy Alaska Project is a coalition of energy stakeholders working to facilitate the development of renewable energy in Alaska through collaboration, education, training, and advocacy.