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NC Energy Literacy Fellow leads student team to National KidWind Competition

April 30, 2019

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An Onslow County science teacher led a team of students from Dixon High School to a first-place win in the wind energy competition at the North Carolina Renewable Energy Challenge held on April 6, 2019. JD Jorgensen, a 2018 NC Energy Literacy Fellow at the UNC Institute for the Environment, and his students Emily Concepcion and Omnia Ali showcased skills they learned, in part, from Jorgensen’s participation in the Energy Literacy Fellows program. Conducted in partnership with KidWind, Jennette’s Pier and Appalachian State University, student teams designed and tested solar, wind, or ocean current energy harvesting devices. The competition was held at the Coastal Studies Institute on the East Carolina University Outer Banks Campus in Wanchese, NC.

According to Jorgensen, Concepcion and Ali were successful as a result of getting into the engineering and design process. They used rapid prototyping to test a variety of different ideas, allowing them to not only determine what worked best for their design, but also to collect a multitude of data for comparison.

“I’m extremely proud of them for what they have accomplished, and I am looking forward to seeing what they will come up with to tackle the challenges at nationals,” says Jorgensen.

Jorgensen’s students are headed to the 2019 National KidWind Competition in Houston, TX during the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) annual tradeshow—WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition at the end of May.

The NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program is a year-long teacher professional development experience for grades 8-12 science and technology teachers sponsored by the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science with funding from the Duke Energy Foundation.

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Media contacts: Emily Williams, Director of Community and University Relations at the UNC Institute for the Environment, (919) 962-0965, emilywilliams@unc.eduor Dana Haine, NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program Director,, (919) 843-5735.