Science, technology, engineering and math stem programs are growing in the Coachella Valley. Saturday students learning about renewable energy put the wind to work.
“We’re creating our own wind indoors, but it’s a windy day and all the students coming to the school today saw the wind turbines out there generating that power,” said Larry McLaughlin.
There was plenty of it. More than 180 kids from across the Coachella Valley showed off months of work on their class-made wind turbines.
Students competed in groups as part of the 5th annual “kid wind” contest sponsored by the College of the Desert.
“They’re looking for the students’ knowledge of the technology and the rationale for their own design. What they decided to do about the blades, tower, stability,” said Larry McLaughlin.
Team 12 with the Real Academy in Desert Hot Springs High School got great critique before the next round of judging.
“Students need to learn about renewable energy and how it comes rom the wind and solar and I think it’s important for them to learn,” said Nohely Barrera,one of the members of the group.
They said the Renewable Energy Academy of Learning, Real Academy, made her and her friends the students they are today.
“You get the opportunities to go into colleges about wind energy and learning about all these different things about energy and how electricity is produced,” said Barerra.
The Desert Hot Springs High School R.E.A.L Academy placed first in it’s division.
Three students from Toro Canyon Middle School and three students from Las Palmitas Elementary took home 2nd and 3rd place in the middle school division.
From Las Palmitas, Maylena DeRenard took 2nd place, and from Toro Canyon, Derlene Lopez took home 3rd place. This was Derlene’s 3rd year competing. Last year she won first place and took a trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National competition. This year for taking 3rd, Derlene is eligible to compete in the regional competition in Portland, Oregon on May 9th. She’s now working on raising funds to get there.