Sep 23, 2022

Dighton students recognized for national champion KidWind project

Posted Sep 23, 2022 10:26 AM

Office of the Governor

TOPEKA — Earlier this year, three Kansas KidWind teams prevailed in regional contests, faced off against fierce competition at the state finals, then went on to win awards at the National KidWind Challenge in San Antonio. This week, the teams traveled to Topeka to celebrate their success at the State Capitol.

The teams recognized were:

• Elementary Division National Champions –  Hutch STEM Blue from Hutchinson STEM Magnet School at Allen Elementary.
• Winner of the Innovator Award –  Wind Chill from Dighton Middle School.
• Winner of the Judges Award – Gerald La Turbina from Beloit Jr/Sr High School

The teams met with Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland, who congratulated them on their success and thanked them for representing Kansas so well on a national stage. Each team had the opportunity to talk with the Lieutenant Governor about their turbine design, lessons learned, and their experiences in competition. He encouraged them to keep up the good work.

“The Kelly Administration has worked hard to support the renewable energy industry and create attractive jobs throughout the state,” Toland said. “We want to provide the opportunity for young people to take what they’ve learned through the KidWind Challenge and build a career and a life in Kansas.”

The teams were also taken on a guided tour of the Capitol and treated to lunch.

To participate in the KidWind Challenge, student teams work together to design, build and test a wind turbine using the materials of their choice. Each team’s turbine is put to the test in a wind tunnel. Scoring is based on turbine performance, a knowledge quiz, a presentation to judges where the team explains its design process, and an instant challenge.

Just as the amount of wind energy being produced in the state is growing, so are the number of students participating in KidWind. The Kansas KidWind Challenge has grown from one regional challenge with 56 students in 2016 to six regional events with 196 student participants in 2022.

For 2023, KidWind regional events are being planned in Dodge City, Oakley, Overland Park, Hutchinson, Manhattan and Burlington. The state finals will be held in Topeka. More information is available at