Paul Kingsmith

Southern Alberta’s brightest and youngest engineers will connect and compete at Lethbridge College’s D.A. Electric Barn on May 11. 


The International Wind Energy Academy (IWEA) is hosting Grades 8 to 12 student teams from Coaldale, Vauxhall, Milk River, Bow Island, Vulcan and Picture Butte in Canada’s First Kid Wind Challenge.

A mix of students and teachers at each school selected the teams based on their interest in mathematics and design. Teams met multiple times over the past couple months to assemble a wind turbine using any materials they had access to.

From those meetings, teams have designed two-foot tall small wind turbines and will bring them to Lethbridge College on May 11. During the afternoon competition, students will compete against other schools with their turbine in a fabricated wind tunnel.

Judges from Lethbridge and area who have a background in engineering and wind energy will evaluate the students’ work. The turbines will be evaluated on how much energy they produce, their unique designs, blade design, and other characteristics.

The event, more than anything, is all about learning. Judges will be looking to discover what the students learned about wind energy while they were creating their small wind turbines.

Media will be able to interview students and teachers at the competition throughout the afternoon.

Future opportunities

From this Kid Wind Challenge, students have the ability to continue on to compete through a Global Web Challenge. Every month a new winner is announced with a $100 cash prize for funding renewable energy projects at the winning school.

About International Wind Energy Academy

Lethbridge College’s International Wind Energy Academy (IWEA) mandate is community capacity building of wind energy development in southern Alberta. In 2010, IWEA received $1.2 million from Rural Alberta Development Funding. Students, landowners, municipal leaders and industry stakeholders have benefitted from working with a dedicated IWEA team to develop renewable energy initiatives. The team has hosted a variety of events in the region including 22 community assessments, energy efficiency, small wind and solar photovoltaic presentations and discussions on myths and facts on wind energy. Members of the team have also been invited to international conferences.

About Kid Wind

Kid Wind is an organization that teaches children about wind energy. Since 2002, Kid Wind has educated close to 700,000 young children across the United States. In 2011, Lethbridge College and International Wind Energy Academy team member Kendra Gawletz became Canada’s First Kid Wind Senator. Since that time, the IWEA team has hosted a youth camp, a science camp at the University of Lethbridge as well as educated over 400 students across southern Alberta.