Sun and Wind in the STEM Forecast
More than 170 elementary and middle school students converged on OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center to compete in the 7th annual Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge hosted by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. For weeks leading up to the event, students from Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport, and Florence researched renewable energy, explored existing and emerging technologies, and worked in teams building their own model devices. At the competition, students put their wind and solar energy devices to the test to see how their devices performed.
More than 40 teams designed wind turbines and tested them in a wind tunnel to determine which device produced the most energy. Students made their turbines from materials ranging from cardboard to 3-D printed plastic; their models varied in the number, size, shape, and angle of turbine blades. In addition, 20 teams tested solar boats in outdoors water tanks to see which model traveled the fastest. A variety of boat shapes and materials were represented, with designs using everything from plastic water bottles, duct tape and cork, to cardboard.
Employment in the Renewable Energy sector provides high wage jobs for those with strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills. By engaging students in hands-on STEM activities with real-world connections, the Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge aims to get young people excited about STEM and STEM careers.
Winners of this year’s Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge are listed below. Top wind teams are invited to participate in the National KidWind Challenge in Houston, Texas in May.
2019 Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Winners:
1st Place Ms. Kilduff’s team #10 “Keelah & Sugar”, Crestview Heights School – Waldport
2nd Place Ms. Saxton’s team #6 “Windwalkers” from Crestview Heights School – Waldport
3rd Place Ms. Hill’s team #4 “Tornado Turbines” from Crestview Heights School – Waldport
1st Place Ms. LaMarche’s team #5 “Famous Four” from Taft Elementary – Lincoln City
2nd Place Ms. LaMarche’s team #1 “The Monsters” from Taft Elementary – Lincoln City
3rd Place Ms. McDermott’s team #3 “Orange Team” from Sam Case School – Newport