OC hosts local students for energy design contest OC will host the second annual Baugh Wind Energy Design Competition for local middle and high school students Feb. 10.

Feb 09, 2018

OC fosters ingenuity and innovation in the minds of students of all ages. On Feb. 10, OC looks forward to advancing these characteristics by hosting the second annual Baugh Wind Energy Design Competition for local middle and high school students.

The brainchild of Benton Baugh, president of Radoil, Inc., the competition is meant to encourage students to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities and develop an interest in the STEM field. This year, five groups from different local schools will compete.

At the competition, each student group will bring a prototype of a wind turbine to test using the OC engineering department’s wind tunnel. Each group will submit a design report, oral presentation of their design and a test of the actual turbine rotor. The aim is to design a rotor that will produce maximum power, measured by voltage and current. Students will also be judged on the creativity and cost efficiency of their design.

Wayne Whaley, professor and chair of mechanical engineering at OC, leads the competition.

“We are trying to encourage kids to come up with something completely different,” said Whaley. “We want them to create something not seen on a website or in their textbook.”

Cash prizes of $1,000, $750 and $500 will be awarded to the top three teams to fund their school’s STEM programs. In addition, the Halladay Design Award for Exceptional Ingenuity may be awarded to a team that displays extraordinary innovation. Named after David Halladay, who patented the water windmill in 1854, this $1,000 prize will only be awarded if a team displays unprecedented creativity.

“Ingenuity means having a great idea and then engineering it to make it work,” said Whaley. “Not every team can produce that quality.”

The second annual Baugh Wind Energy Design Competition will begin at 7 a.m. in the Prince Engineering Center on Feb. 10.