Students Compete in Regional KidWind Competition
HUTCHINSON, KANSAS – Students from Hutchinson STEM Magnet School at Allen competed at the regional KidWind competition hosted at Hutchinson Community College on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
Three teams, comprised of students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade at STEM Magnet School at Allen, competed at the regional competition of the 2022 KidWind Simulation Challenge. Along with the Allen STEM teams, a team of USD 308 gifted students participated as non-competitors in the event. The competition was hosted at Hutchinson Community College on Thursday, February 24, 2022, and featured students from across South Central Kansas constructing and testing their own wind turbines.
Mandy Putnam, a former 8th-grade teacher for USD 308, works for the Engineering Department at Kansas State University, and first shared the opportunity with Allen’s principal, Alma Henry. After registering for KidWind, the teams at Allen partnered with the Kansas Energy Program to receive wind turbines, generators, wind tunnels and other supplies to prepare for the competition.
Teachers Keith Gable and Hannah Schletzbaum have served as coaches for the student teams, working with them over the last three weeks to learn about wind turbines, practice teamwork, and sharpen their public speaking skills.
“The process has been a bit of a whirlwind. KidWind utilizes the engineering design process, which is what we are big on here at Allen, so we are working with the students to use what they do on a daily basis. I’m learning right along with the students. It’s been fascinating to see how creative these kids can be,” said Gable, a 6th-grade teacher at Allen.
“First we started out with a base, and we’ve been experimenting with different blades. It’s been fun spending time with my friends and practicing. Our wind turbine was fast enough to power a light bulb!" said Gatlin Loepp, a 4th-grade competitor at Allen.
The Blue Team from Allen STEM Magnet received 2nd place in the 4th-8th division and qualified for the State competition in Topeka in April. The National KidWind Challenge will be held in San Antonio, Texas in May, 2022.