Facebook has chronicled its efforts to monitor water and energy usage at its data center in Prineville, Ore., and the social network recently focused its energy on wind energy, donating $ 15,000 toward KidWind Challenge Oregon, a contest in which students contributed designs for wind turbines.
The Bonneville Environmental Foundation also contributed $ 15,000 toward the event, which was held in Prineville and featured 18 middle- and high school teams. The $ 15,000 from Facebook came from one of its 2013 Facebook Prineville Data Center Local Community Action Grants.
KidWind said the goal of the competition was for the student teams and their teachers to create devices that were “efficient, elegant, and highly functional,” with each entry judged on turbine power performance, turbine construction, and knowledge of wind energy topics.
The city of Heppner, Ore., did itself proud, as Team Bryan of Heppner Middle School took home top honors in the middle-school category and $ 300, while the top spot in the high-school category and another $ 300 went to HHS Robotics of Heppner High School.
KidWind said the matching grants from Facebook and the BEF also allowed it to train 80 teachers from across the state in four workshops and provide them with more than $ 10,000 worth of equipment, adding that it will hold a one-week training session in Portland this summer with the goal of launching more contests in 2014.