National Challenge

2017 National Challenge

We are super excited to see you all in Anaheim, CA. Please read the content below closely, as all of it is important and will most likely answer your questions in advance! If not, send me a note at



Anaheim Convention Center
Ballroom AB on the 3rd floor


Tuesday May 23rd

3:00- 6:00 PM: Check In, Setup & Pretesting

Wednesday May 24th

8 AM: Check In Opens
8 AM - 9:30 AM: Wind Tunnel Practice
10 AM: Kick Off Meeting
11:00 AM - 6 PM: Competition

Thursday May 25th

8 AM - 12 PM: Continued Competition
1:30 PM:Awards Ceremony

Rule Adjustments from Regional/Local Challenges

All of the rules in the KidWind Challenge Rules 2017 document apply, unless amended, clarified, or supplemented in this document.


Here is how your overall score will be calculated at the 2017 National KidWind Challenge.

40% Wind Tunnel Performance
30% Judges Turbine Review & Documentation
20% Instant Challenges
10% Content Knowledge

BONUS #1 - Sending profile and team image (1pt)
BONUS #2 - Doing at least one FlipGrid Video (2pt)

Wind Turbine Performance (45%)

Our goal is to have four wind tunnels at the National KidWind Challenge. All of them draw wind through the tunnel - this creates a much cleaner more stable airflow. The three “slower” tunnels will have wind speeds of 3.5 - 4.0m/s. The “fast” tunnel will have wind speeds of 5.5-6 m/s. We will calculate energy and power produced over a 30 second trial in each tunnel. We hope to have every team test at least once in each tunnel.

Scores for this category are as follows:
We will calculate how much energy your turbine produces in 30 seconds under a load. We will also measure your swept area and compare power produced to available power based on your swept area.

Tunnel Power Output (35 pts)

  • Scoring is based on calculation of your energy output in all tunnels - if we are able to offer multiple trials your highest energy output will count. The turbine which has the highest energy output score receives the highest possible number of points (35). All other scores are calculated based off of the percentage of the top score.

  • Example -- The top turbine produces a total of 100J in all four tunnels, and receives 35 points. Your turbine produces a total of 80J, so your team would receive 80% or 28 points.

Tunnel Judge Evaluations (5 pts)

  • How well did your turbine perform in tunnel? Was it shaking, steady, etc.

  • Were wires and hook ups marked and clear, did it pass inspection?

  • How efficient was the turbine?
  • Other Notes:

    • You will be able to adjust and repair your turbine between tests.

    • If you are using a KidWind generator you will have a 30 ohm/5W resistor attached to your turbine as a load.

    • If you have constructed your own generator you can either use a 30 ohm/5 W load or you can bring your own load as specified in the rules.

    • While the dimensions of the tunnel are 48” x 48”, the sides of the tunnel do draw in when the wind starts moving and this reduces the actual internal area. We HIGHLY recommend that your rotor diameter is 43” or less. This will accommodate tunnel contraction and the fact that your turbine may “shake” in the tunnel due to vibration!

    • We will have a tool table with basic tools for repairs.

    • We will try our best to have some practice time for all to make sure you can tweak your turbine.

    We have seen a range of performance this year at regional challenges everything from 30 - 125 Joules produced in 30 seconds! It will be very competitive in the tunnels so do your best to make a great turbine.

Judge Turbine Review & Documentation (30%)

Procedure is the same as in the rules document we have only altered percentages and combined the turbine review with the documentation. If you have a video or a powerpoint to present please bring your own computer. Each team will have 15 minutes to present. Your team can prepare a presentation or just have the judges ask you questions.

Instant Challenges (20%)

In 2017 there will be two Instant Challenges related to wind power. Teamwork is very important during the Instant Challenges, and you will be judged on that as well as your final product. Teams will only have 30-45 minute so you have to focus and work together!

The 2017 Instant Challenges will focus on the following:

  • Vertical Axis Turbines - We will bring the stuff. You have to make something that generates as much power as you can. We will use box fans, junk and KidWind turbines.

  • Siting a Wind Farm - Your team will have 45 minutes to site a wind farm using maps and some basic data. It may be a good idea to check out these resources before coming: Windwise Lesson 18, Windustry Siting Guidelines, AWEA Siting Guidebook

Content Knowledge (10%)

We are going to give you a digital pop quiz at the challenge based on the concepts found in the 10 Big Questions about Wind Power. The quiz will be multiple choice questions and short fill in the blanks and will be different for MS and HS students. Your team can do the test as a team and can chat about the answers. Points awarded based on your score on the test.

Bonus Points

Before we get to Anaheim we need a little data from you. If you do them you get bonus points - these will be the easiest points you will ever get - last year there was like 2 points between the top three teams so you will want to do this!

Team Profile & Image (1 point) - DUE MAY 10th: EVERY SINGLE TEAM needs to Enter your Team. This is a free point! You can also take a look at other teams on the Meet the 2017 Teams page.

FlipGrid Video (2 points) - DUE MAY 20: Use the FlipGrid interface and have your team answer at least one of the questions presented. Your team can do more than one question if they want. Team members can answer the question together as a team or one individual from the team or many individuals from the team can do it.

FlipGrid works everywhere. If you have any questions drop me a line. To get bonus points this must be completed by May 20th, no exceptions!