Twenty eighth-graders at Daniel Lewis Middle School in Paso Robles took part in the KidWind Challenge on Thursday, with three teams walking away with cash prizes and entry into a national competition next month.
Students in Whit Donaldson’s technology class broke into eight teams of two and three members each to test the designs of turbine blades in a portable wind tunnel to determine which design produced the most electricity.
After the final gust blew, Robert Hopkins and Nathaniel Weatherly took first place and a $100 prize; Chris Heinlein and Carlos Morgado earned second-place honors and a $75 reward; and third place went to Brady Finlayson and Tyler Cassidy, who earned $50 for their efforts.
All three teams now advance to the national finals May 23-25 in Anaheim. The students have been working on their four-blade designs since February as part of the STEM curriculum — science, technology, engineering and math.