Fluvanna Middle School Advances to the State Solar and Wind Competition

Posted Mar 12, 2022

Students from Fluvanna Middle School (FMS) have advanced from regional to the state-level in the Virginia State Wind and Solar Challenge. The event was held at Virginia State University (VSU) in Petersburg, Virginia on Saturday, April 23rd. Over 25 teams comprised of 150 middle and high school students competed for State Wind or Solar Champion title.

Six teams of Fluvanna Middle School participated in the regional KidWind Challenge at James Madison University (JMU) in March for both the solar and wind categories. Eric Drowngowski, the Library Media Specialist, served as the main coach for the 5th through 7th graders. These students' solar projects included a self-watering greenhouse made from reclaimed materials, a hovercraft, and a music speaker. Each of the three wind teams tested a different type of turbine design. During the competition, students actively worked through the engineering process of “design-test-revise-test-again” as they made last minute adjustments before the final judging. In the regional competition three teams won four awards.

  • Judges' Award for unique blade design
  • Judges' Award for overcoming obstacles
  • Peoples' Choice Award
  • 3rd Place in overall for solar projects

This is the first year Fluvanna has participated in the KidWind Challenge, and the students are already talking about their ideas for next year’s designs.

A team stands next to their wind turbine design

An FMS student is honored with the Overcoming Obstacles award

One team's invention - a solar-powered greenhouse irrigation system

NOTE: Madison Energy Infrastructure acquired Sun Tribe Solar in April 2024. The team remains dedicated to continuing - and growing - the reach and impact of Solar Empowered Schools.

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Solar Empowered Schools’ mission is to help students shine through renewable energy education. Madison Energy Infrastructure manages Solar Empowered Schools to extend the benefits of solar energy beyond roofs and into classrooms, preparing students for STEM careers and empowering youth to actively participate in their clean energy future.