Bath County students heading national wind turbine competition

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BATH Co, Va. (WDBJ7) Eight Bath County High School students are headed to New Orleans for the 2016 National KidWind Challenge.

Tuesday night the students received donations from the Bath County Economic Development Council and a Cincinnati-based company called The Normandy Group to help get them there.

A lot of time and effort has gone into the two wind turbines created by the Bath County High School students.

“You run into a lot of roadblocks and then you have to figure out a way to work around them,” said Freshman Charles Offer.

The turbine they call “Old School" has been in the works for two years.

The students found new ways to improve it after last year's Regional KidWind Challenge.

“Up here we have an air dam and you can adjust it for the amount of power you're trying to make or the best way to try and get the rest of the wind from coming out.” explain Offer.

Those changes helped them snag first place this year, sending them to Nationals in May.

“We've had it actually outside on top of the roof, we had it producing 25 volts,” said Offer.

"New School" is a newer wind turbine project.

“I wanted to make one that could catch wind from from all directions, so that's why it's vertical,” explains Senior Derek Oliver.

This wind turbine came in second place and it's also heading to Nationals.

“Starting from wood and building it all the way up, pretty lucky to do that,” says Oliver.

He explains that most teams use a kit to create their wind turbine.

But these students built theirs from scratch.

They only item they used from the kit was the motor because it is required.

“In all the years I've been teaching this is probably the single best experience I've had,” says their Technology and Engineering teacher Ed Ozols. “Just, it makes it all worthwhile”
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But it hasn't been easy.

These students are all athletes too.

So they work on these wind turbines every chance they get, including the weekends.

“Challenging to just practice sports, do this, homework, it's been a challenge,” says Oliver.

It’s a challenge that may get them a national award next month.