Wisconsin KidWind Challenge

2019 KidWind participants Students participate in the 2019 KidWind Challenge at the Wisconsin Energy Institute. Kevin Chukel

KidWind is a hands-on design celebration that engages students through the lens of wind and solar energy. Student teams design and build small-scale wind turbines and solar structures at home or school and bring them to events all over the world to measure power output and present in front of expert judges. The Wisconsin KidWind Challenge, held the first Saturday in March, supports 4-12th grade students and educators across the state and feeds into the National KidWind Competition. For more information about the 2022 Wisconsin KidWind Challenge, email us here!

Wisconsin KidWind Challenge 2021 

The 2021 Wisconsin KidWind Challenge was held virtually on Saturday, March 6th, 2021. Read about it here!

Get Involved:

Save the date and put a team together to participate in the 2022 Wisconsin KidWind Challenge on March 5, 2022!

At the Challenge, student teams:

  • test their energy output in a wind tunnel
  • present in front of a panel of expert judges
  • complete instant challenges that test teamwork and hands-on thinking
  • hear from college students studying renewable energy
  • learn about careers in the field

Friends and family are welcome to come support their teams (and may get a chance to try their skill at turbine design too!) The top teams in the Middle and High School Divisions will advance to the National KidWind Challenge.

Stay tuned for educator workshops to take place summer/fall 2021! Learn more here.

2021 Virtual REcharge Academy

Now in its 14th year, the REcharge Academy is KidWind's flagship educator training program focused around renewable energy. The intensive training blends lectures from experts and tours of energy facilities with replicable hands-on K-12 lessons to give educators content as well as context. Once again we are going virtual!

The plan is to hold one mandatory kickoff meeting in late June. After that, you can choose your own adventure by attending elective sessions based on your own interests and availability.

You must complete at least 3 full day sessions from the list in order to receive your REcharge Academy Certificate of Completion.  We will also offer a variety of 1-2 hour optional activities like virtual tours and guest speakers. The times and dates of those additional events will be posted in June 2021.

Mandatory Launch Meeting

6/24 - REcharge Academy Orientation, Energy Justice, Energy Basics & the Power Grid

Elective Sessions (select a minimum of 3)

  • 6/28 Wind 101 - Wind Basics, MacGyver Wind and Classroom Turbines
  • 7/1 Wind 201 - Siting, Offshore Wind, Advanced Gens, Blades & Gearboxes
  • 7/12 Solar 101 - Solar PV Projects, Solar Thermal Projects
  • 7/15 Solar 201 - Siting Solar, Advanced Solar Projects
  • 8/13 Hydro & Marine Power 101
  • 8/20 EV, Batteries & Storage 101 
  • 9/25 Microcontrollers & Renewable Energy Projects

We have lots of scholarships and support for this event so if you are interested apply now! All scholarships will be distributed by May 15th. 

Learn more and apply!

Thanks for putting on a GREAT competition! Our kids were very excited the whole ride home and continue to be today. They already have been coming up to me the last two days asking to get back in the lab to try new stuff.

2020 Coach

Why participate in the KidWind challenge?

Learn more about the event and see what the 2020 Wisconsin KidWind Challenge looked like.
Molly Carlson, a Science Teacher at Mauston High School, shares her experience at the 2020 Wisconsin KidWind Challenge.

Past KidWind Challenges

Read and explore the stories below that recap the previous two KidWind Challenge competitions at the Wisconsin Energy Institute.

2020 KidWind Challenge prepares Wisconsin students for wind energy careers
Last year marked the third annual Wisconsin KidWind Challenge, which saw a jump to 18 teams from last year’s six, drawing competitors from across Wisconsin — and, for the first time, northern Illinois.

2019 KidWind Challenge gets students, parents, and teachers excited about wind energy
Elementary and middle school students from around the state gathered at WEI for the 2019 KidWind Challenge to construct their own model wind turbines and compete to produce the most energy.

Below are some photo highlights from the 2019 and 2020 KidWind Challenge competitions. Click on an image to see it in a larger format.

It is a HUGE deal for our students to even think of getting to compete in Madison. We had a parent with every single student. Some grandparents came from other states to show their support! Thank you!

2020 Coach

Special thanks to our sponsors!