Students Compete in Windstorm and Wind Blade Challenges

April 30, 2012

Orono – It wasn’t just a day at the pool for some high school students.

” So much build up. So many late nights, so finally getting here and getting into the pool was really capping off the experience,” said Dylan Fowler, a senior from Gray-New Gloucester.

Teams competed on land and in the water at the University of Maine in Orono.

” I’ve seen some designs I’ve never thought about, so it’s really very exciting to see how much thought they’ve put into the work,” said Habib Dagher, director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center.

Students get help from mentors, but the designs are all their own work.

” This one you really go to do any design you wanted,” said Levi Hooper, a senior at Winthrop High School.

For the Windstorm Challenge, students had to design the floating portion of the turbine. It was tested in a simulated wind and wave storm.

” The team that has the smallest movements, moves the least, wins the competition,” explained Dagher.

The team from Winthrop had a lot of success in the water.

” To see that it did that well, makes us, well, we’re really happy about it,” said Cameron Macmillan, a team member.

The group from Gray-New Gloucester High School also put on a good show.

” It was kind of intimidating seeing some of the other projects like the one with the ball bearings that worked really well. Ours seemed kind of simple in comparison, but it worked,” said Joseph Archenbault, a team member.

Winning the competitions comes with more than just bragging rights, it comes with a big opportunity.

” The winning team gets a $20,000 scholarship to come work in our lab at the University,” said Dagher.

It’s a prize a lot of the students want to put to good use.

There will be a Windstorm Challenge Summer Camp this July. For more information, click here.