UMaine Hosts Windstorm and Annual Maine Composites Alliance Wind Blade Challenge

May 9, 2013

The daylong events was held in UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center.

Windstorm Challenge asks teams of middle and high school students to design and construct a floating platform for a scale model wind turbine, and deliver a business plan and sales pitch to a panel of expert judges. Teams are critiqued on the technical feasibility and aesthetic design of their platform, as well as the quality of their sales pitch. The Windstorm Challenge encourages an interdisciplinary approach to solving large problems.

Maine Wind Blade Challenge was developed by the Maine Composites Alliance, Maine Wind Industry Initiative and UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center to inspire students’ exploration of alternative energy and composites materials by participating in a hands-on application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The event incorporates STEM guidelines in the classroom, and applied composites and energy education in the field. Students are matched with Maine composite businesses to use hands-on infusion techniques to build their blades.

The cooperating events had an award ceremony at the end of the day, presenting winning team members from each competition a paid internship at the UMaine Composites Center, an award valued at more than $20,000, contingent upon their enrollment at the University of Maine.

The DeepCwind Consortium’s mission is to establish the state of Maine as a national leader in deepwater offshore wind technology through a research initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation-Partnerships for Innovation and others.