One big piece of our renewable energy future is education. We need the next generations of the world to be well versed in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) behind alternative energy, so they can go on to innovate and build the next pieces of our renewable energy economy. Courses focusing on the renewable energy aspects of STEM aren't necessarily a major focus in mainstream education, but the need for fun and engaging educational resources in those areas is being filled by one small company in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The team behind the "Pinewood Derby of wind turbines", a student wind turbine design contest, wants to see more kids accessing fun and engaging kits and learning opportunities in renewable energy, and they're turning to Kickstarter to help launch their project.
KidWind, which has been specializing in developing and distributing renewable energy STEM curriculum (free and open-source) for the last ten years, wants to take hands-on solar and wind energy learning to the next level - with comic books and renewable energy kits.
The company already sells clean energy science kits and materials, but their most recent efforts are toward developing a line of renewable energy science kits, supported by a cast of characters in comic books, called "KidWind and Friends." KidWind, KidSolar, KidHydro, and KidKinetic (plus Circuit the dog) are the stars of the comics, which aim to help kids connect larger story lines and concepts to the materials in the kits they're building.
"KidWind and Friends exploration science kits will allow students to begin exploring renewable energy—and a variety of energy concepts—in an engaging format. Kids and adults will be able to mix and match the items between the kits, and we will offer many of the parts separately so you can add on or build your own devices. You want a complete kit? You got it. You want parts that interchange? You got it." - KidWind
The company believes this type of project has the potential for engaging thousands more students in clean energy science and learning, and if their Kickstarter campaign gives them a push to the next level, we may be seeing KidWind kits available for sale in retail stores.