Brandon Hescox, a seventh-grade science teacher at Bellwood-Antis Middle School wanted to challenge some of his high achieving students. After attending a clinic with KidWind Power, he knew this would be the perfect opportunity. This competition allows students from middle school through college to show off their engineering skills by building the best wind power generation farm on a simulator that was partially developed by Penn State.

Mr. Hescox approached some of his homeroom students who then selected a couple more students to complete the five-member team. Ian Clark, Noah Corklick, Noah Galvex, Eric Johnson, and Blake Pennington spent almost a month together working first researching and then developing five different challenges, Each of these challenges consisted of designing the most efficient wind turbines, placing them in the best location, and then connecting them to a substation. This all needed to be done within a set budget. Dr. Susan Stewart at Penn State has worked with Kidwind for about a decade and provided support for this group of hard-working seventh graders.

The team ended up qualifying for the national tournament. While this event is to be held in person in Texas, the lack of obtaining the proper airline ticket left them in a pinch. An anonymous donor has secured them a conference room in Hershey that will allow them to compete virtually next week. They will also enjoy some nice side-trips to Hershey Park and the State Capitol.

In the National Event, they will have to build their own turbine, not virtually, but physically. They will place it in a wind tunnel that was supplied by Penn State to see how well it will do.

Win or lose these students all have had fun while learning. Here is a video showing what their favorite moments were.