Lake Pleasant students return from National KidWind Challenge as winners

Lake Pleasant Central School eighth- and ninth-grade team members who qualified for the KidWind National Challenge are members are, from left, Breezy Buffoons—George Hoffman, Carter Orr and Joshua Hughes; Gusty Goons—Rylee Bartholomew, Nathan Greco and Jacob Humphrey; and Just Keep Spinning—Chase Smith and Shannon Vogel. (Photo submitted)

LAKE PLEASANT — Lake Pleasant Central School eighth- and ninth-grade teams who qualified for the KidWind National Challenge in Houston, Texas, in May came back as winners.

The three groups traveled home from the KidWind National Competition on May 23. Of the groups, the ninth-grade “Breezy Buffoons” returned with a national championship plaque. They competed in the high school division with schools from all over the country. They qualified by competing in the regional challenges at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute and General Electric. They placed first at both of those competitions.

All three teams placed regionally at SUNY PolySci and GE, and all had to perform on four different wind tunnels, had to present and display their knowledge of the wind energy field, and had to perform on-the-spot challenges and answer rapid-fire questions.

The two eighth-grade teams placed accordingly at nationals: Gusty Goons: eighth out of 52 and Just Keep Spinning: 10th out of 52.

The National Competition consists of designing and building a wind turbine, with the winners generating the most energy; a group presentation, which must include documentation of their design, build, success and failures; as well as deep knowledge of the wind energy field and statistics about wind turbine use throughout the world. In addition, at the national competition, students are stopped randomly and asked questions on the fly about any of the above topics.

The majority of the trip was funded by grants and fundraising, which included a spaghetti dinner, donations from local and large-scale businesses, and a bottle drive at Charlie John’s Store in Speculator.

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