Wind Blade Challenge 

Wind energy is a growing industry in Maine. Those involved with the technology are trying to get the younger generation interested. Students across the state were challenged to design and create their own wind energy system.The Composite Wind Blade Challenge was held today at U-Maine.”Renewable and alternative energy is like a huge deal in Maine politics and national politics. It’s becoming increasingly important with the economy, so it was great to be able to have that sort of real experiment to do.” says Erin St. Peter, a participant.High school students were challenged to design a wind blade and a turbine. They were provided with materials to make it and given certain criteria.”One of the things we want to do is we want to highlight the need for science and math learning so that kids are really thinking about that as they look at their future career possibilities.” says Paul Williamson, an organizer.James Wiesner, a participant adds, “There’s a boundless amount of energy out there in the winds and to capture all that energy and convert it into electricity would benefit everyone.”Governor Baldacci says, “We have an opportunity as you heard with wind energy windmills, production and manufacturing of those blades to really put people to work in our state it’s a huge opportunity.”This was the first competition of it’s kind in the U-S. The response surprised organizers.”It’s wonderful to see such an overwhelming response from high schools around the state of Maine.” They had around 30 teams. About 150 students competed.The designs were judged on how many watts were produced. If the winners are accepted at U-Maine, they’ll be rewarded with a research assistantship at the school.