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The Westbury Times - Schools

Terrific Turbines

It’s not everyday that you get a plaque for learning, but that was the case for Westbury Middle School students who placed second last week in the KidWind Challenge at the Cradle of Aviation. 


Under the instruction of faculty advisors William Gray and Richard Canalini, over 20 students worked together to submit four wind turbines, made out of materials such as pipes, wood, styrafoam, cans, gears and concrete bases.  The turbines were tested in front of a big fan and voltage was measured. Westbury Middle School came away from the competition victorious, winning second place in knowledge of subject matter, and energy produced, with 13,500 milliwatts.

This was Westbury’s first time in the competition, and they faced off against teams from districts such as Bethpage, Seaford and Lawrence. 


The project started out as an in class unit. Teams of students designed windmills and competed against each other. The four windmills that produced the highest voltage were taken to the Cradle Of Aviation’s KidWind Challenge. Canalini says the lesson helped students learn about the future of energy. 


“We’re trying to have them prepared for the real 21st century,” Canalini said. “And kids enjoyed it, they were saying they wish they had it everyday.” 


Students, such as Stacey Alverado, said they enjoyed the hands-on project. 


“I liked that we got to learn things and see how wind turbines are a big part of our future,” Alverado said. “We did research because we didn’t know anything and had to make different designs to see how many voltages we would get.” 


Later this year, students will also be competiting in a robotics competition.