UMaine Composites Center hosted 300 students for wind energy challenges

Winning team members of both competitions were offered internships valued at more than $20,000 at the UMaine Composites Center, contingent upon enrollment at the university.

Related Topics:

The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center hosted the Windstorm Challenge and the 8th Annual Maine Wind Blade Challenge for 300 middle and high school students on May 20.

“We were pleased to present Maine students with these two truly hands-on STEM experiences that immerses them in energy research inside our 100,000-square-foot laboratory to help spark the next generation of engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs and job creators for Maine and for the United States,” said Habib Dagher, executive director of the UMaine Composites Center. “We’re confident that some of the best future engineers, scientists and entrepreneurial leaders were here today, and our goal is to inspire them with opportunities in our state.”

“It was inspiring to see the creativity of these Maine students and, without doubt, Maine composites companies are looking forward to them joining our workforce,” said Steve Von Vogt, managing director of the Maine Composites Alliance.

The fourth Windstorm Challenge — held in the center’s Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Lab — engaged students in floating offshore wind technology, innovation and business.

Student teams designed and built a scale-model floating wind turbine platform and delivered a sales pitch-style presentation to a panel of UMaine and industry judges. The teams’ floating turbine models were tested under extreme winds and wave conditions. The team with the most stable platform and strongest presentation was selected as the winner.

The 8th Annual Maine Wind Blade Challenge, also hosted at the center, is a program of the Maine Composites Alliance and the Maine Ocean and Wind Industry Initiative. This challenge connects teams of middle and high school students with composites companies to construct and infuse a functional set of wind blades.

Each Wind Blade Challenge team’s goal was to manufacture an assembly that would generate the most energy in three minutes or less. Each team also gave a presentation on its design and innovation processes.

Here are the winners:

Windstorm Challenge 2016

3rd Place:  Caribou Middle School B2

2nd Place: King Middle School B18

1st Place: Falmouth High School A6


Maine Composites Alliance’ 8th Annual Wind Blade Challenge 2016

3rd Place: Lewiston High School Team 4

2nd Place: Freeport High School

1st Place: Bangor High School Team 1

Winning team members of both competitions were offered internships valued at more than $20,000 at the UMaine Composites Center, contingent upon enrollment at the university.