National Champion KidWind teams to be recognized in Topeka tomorrow

TOPEKAย โ€“ In May, three Kansas student teams won national honors at the 2022 National KidWind Challenge held in San Antonio, Texas.

On Wednesday, they are traveling to the Kansas State Capitol to celebrate their success. The teams will meet with Lieutenant Governor David Toland for photos at 10 a.m., take a guided tour of the Capitol, and then enjoy lunch.

The teams being recognized are:

  • Elementary Division National Championsย โ€“ย  Hutch STEM Blue from Hutchinson STEM Magnet School at Allen Elementary
  • Winner of the Innovator Awardย โ€“ย  Wind Chill from Dighton Middle School
  • Winner of the Judges Awardย โ€“ Gerald La Turbina from Beloit Jr/Sr High School

To participate in the KidWind Challenge, student teams work together to design, build and test a wind turbine using the materials of their choice. Each teamโ€™s turbine is put to the test in a wind tunnel. Scoring is based on turbine performance, a knowledge quiz, a presentation to judges where the team explains its design process, and an instant challenge.

The students have worked hard and learned a lot, but they have also had a lot of fun along the way. See the video highlights from the State Finalsย here.ย (Note – all three national winners appear in the video)

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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