Local middle and high school students named Google Wind Challenge champions

cWind turbine design competition and fair creates fun learning environment for STEM skills

THE DALLES, Ore. – March 16, 2019 – Students from around the Gorge participated in the 6th annual Google Wind Challenge today at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center in The Dalles. This year, more than 160 students representing 35 high school and middle school teams competed to build the competition’s top wind turbines.  

During the Wind Challenge, student teams worked together with volunteer mentors to design, build and test their turbines. Teams compete against each other to see whose turbine can generate the highest voltage output and raise a 68cm mass in the least amount of time. Each team gets two opportunities to compete.               

The Wind Challenge and accompanying STEM fair is sponsored by Google and produced in partnership with Gorge Technology Alliance and Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC). Through the event, Wind Challenge organizers strive to bring hands-on STEM opportunities to local students and inspire the next generation of leaders in these fields.

“We always hope the Wind Challenge sparks an interest in science and technology both for students and community members,” Google data center operations manager Richard Stillwell said. “This STEM education event has become a proud community tradition during the past six years. We look forward to continuing to support STEM initiatives in the Gorge.”

Participants, their families and friends, and community members also had the opportunity to take part in the fun by exploring hands-on exhibits at the adjoining STEM fair, featuring interactive activities from Gorge MakerSpace, Google, Columbia Gorge Community College and the FIRST Tech Challenge teams, among others.

This year, threehigh school division winners, three middle school division winners and two categories of runner ups were selected (see names below).

High School WinnersMiddle School Winners
1st PLACE:Life in the Gorge Homeschool“Cyclones 1”1st PLACE:White Salmon“Santa Ana”       
2nd PLACE:Stevenson High School“Bulldogs Maroon”2nd PLACE:Life in the Gorge Homeschool“Zephyrs”

3rd PLACE:Pacific Crest Innovation Academy“Owls”3rd PLACE:Goldendale Homeschoolers“Wind Beneath My Wings”
 Runner Up Awards:Best Mechanical: Goldendale Homeschoolers “Wild is the Wind”Best Electrical: Goldendale High School “Goldendale Yellow” Runner Up Awards:Best Mechanical: Goldendale Middle School “Goldendale Team 3”Best Electrical: Stanfield Secondary “Gone with the Wind”

“Students’ clever designs never fail to wow us,” said Gorge Technology Alliance Executive Director Jessica Metta. “The Wind Challenge highlights for students that learning about STEM topics can be exciting and engaging.”

For more information, visit http://crgta.org/wind-challenge

For more information about this year’s Wind Challenge, visitwww.windchallenge.org.

For more information about this year’s Wind Challenge, visitwww.windchallenge.org.