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STEM skills on display at Google Wind Challenge

May the best turbine win!


The third annual Google Wind Challenge is blowing into the Gorge on April 30 at the Civic Auditorium in The Dalles. Teams of high school and middle school students throughout the local area have a chance to race against the clock to build the strongest, fastest wind turbines and compete for exciting prizes, such as trips to OMSI, pizza parties and drones. A fun, hands-on STEM fair will also be on site with activities to engage students and the general public.

The competition and fair is sponsored by Google and produced in partnership with Gorge Technology Alliance and Columbia Gorge Community College.  This is the third year for the popular Google-sponsored event which drew more than 200 local students in 2015 and is part of the organizations’ work to bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) opportunities to area students.

“The Wind Challenge is an exciting way to fuel students’ interest in science and technology as they discover creative ways to harness energy from the wind,” said Dave Karlson, Data Center Operations Manager for Google. “It’s amazing to see the talent and all of their unique creations each year.”

During the Wind Challenge, teams of three to six students learn about wind turbine technology and design, then with support from volunteer mentors, build, test and present their wind turbine models to a panel of judges.

“With the work we do to support STEM education in the region, it is a natural fit for the Gorge Technology Alliance to be involved,” said the Alliance Executive Director Jessica Metta. “We are looking forward to the event!”

The Wind Challenge is free. Students and volunteers may register online at


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