Great news from Arthur Kimball at Desert Mirage High School in Thermal — the school’s KidWind team, sophmores Arturo Gutierrez and Jesus Gutierrez (who are not related to each other), took second place in the national KidWind competition in Washington, D.C. April 27-29.
The KidWind program is aimed at getting K-12 students interested in science, technology, engineering and math – referred to as STEM — through having them design model wind turbines. The Desert Mirage team went to D.C. after taking second place in a regional competition here in the Coachella Valley.
Unfortunately, only four high school teams were in competition at the national level , versus many more teams from elementary and middle schools, Kimball reported. Still the Desert Mirage students’ second place was no easy deal; they were up against some top private schools, such as National Cathedral School from D.C., an elite girls’ school, which took first place.
“The competition was stiff,” Kimball said. “But they could indicate their learning by looking at other teams’ designs and making suggestions.”
The students and teachers also had time for a day of sightseeing, taking in the Smithsonian Space and Aeronautics Museum — where they were fascinated by propellers, Kimball said — as well as the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and all the monuments.
And, Kimball said, they’re already looking forward to next year’s competition, when the KidWind organizers promised at least one high school team from each of the 20 states now participating in the regional competitions.
“Now we know what we’re doing, we’re going to bring the heat,” he said.