EWEB Grant

Prairie Mountain 6th graders take the field







6th grade students in Mrs. Brandt’s and Mrs. Doty’s science classes got to practice their skills in the field on their annual trip to the Amazon Canal where they conduct a stream study to determine the health of the stream. Teams look at water quality, the macroinvertebrates present, the flow, turbidity, depth, width, temperature and pH levels. All of this data can be used as indicators of how healthy our neighborhood stream is. These students do similar studies at Whitaker Creek on their salmon watch trip that they take in November. They can then compare this data and learn about how their actions can help or hurt their surroundings. These hands-on activities in which students collect real data are not only fun and educational, but they are also very impactful!

The salmon are here, the salmon are here!

1300 Chinook salmon eggs were recently delivered to about 10 classrooms in the Bethel School District. These eggs come from the Leaburg Hatchery and will be raised in the classroom by the students. The participants will have to conduct daily pH, ammonia and dissolved oxygen tests to make sure the water is fit for the salmon survival. They will also have to make sure their tank stays very cold, around 45-50 degrees. If all goes well, each classroom should release about 100 salmon once they are developed. Stop in to your nearest 6th grade classroom to see their development over the next couple of months!

Racers to your marks…..







It was the largest solar challenge to date! Bethel brought more than 25 teams to the race on June 10th at Cal Young Middle School. Although we did not place in the solar race, we did have some winners in other categories. Each car is tested and the teams are interviewed about the design of the car. Allison Bradshaw’s student, Kyshan Nichols-Smith from Shasta won first place in the design competition. Maddie Slager, Bailey Gray, and Abbie Chambers from Sara Baumann’s class at Meadow View took second place in the Art Car division. Although the sun did not shine, our first indoor event in about twelve years was a huge success!

Time to build and race cars!



At Cascade, Mr. Miller’s 8th grade science classes are well on their way to finishing their team-designed solar cars. Upon finishing, they will race against their classmates to determine  who will advance to the Solar Challenge on Saturday, June 10th at Cal Young Middle School. Students have been drawing plans, deciding on the best materials to build a light car, and using precision to glue the axles so the car will run straight. Much trial and error goes into the building of these cars, and only the most precise, prevail. Good luck to the advancing teams!

The wind has blown; the scores are in

On Tuesday, May 23rd, Team Hot Glue, Helen Lucas and Allison Sanders, arrived in Anaheim at the 2017 National Kidwind Competition.  Twenty four other high school teams joined them in assembling wind turbines and preparing for 2 days of testing and challenges at the American Wind Energy Association’s National Convention.

With a score of 146.26 mJ of energy, Willamette ranked 3rd in energy production.  Overall, including tests of knowledge, a vertical axis challenge, windfarm siting, and interviews, Team Hot Glue was ranked 6th.  We did not bring home the national title but the team was satisfied with the strength of their performance and inspired to expand their skills for next year.

Highlights of the event included touring the convention floor where the students learned about many aspects of wind energy generation from professionals attending from Germany, Denmark, Australia, Spain, Canada, and France.  The students learned that opportunities for career paths within wind energy are many and varied.  Collaboration with other teams during the event was another peak.  Teams often worked together to solve problems that arose during competition.

Thank you to EWEB, the Bethel Boosters, several individuals who contributed through Go Fund Me, as well as other private donors. This trip could not have happened without all of this support!

Competition underway



Helen Lucas and Allison Sanders made it to Anaheim and are currently readying for their interview at the AWEA Windpower National Convention. They have also been exploring all the conference has to offer. Seen below is Helen using virtual reality to dissect and reassemble a wind generator in mid air! Good luck in the competition to this twosome!


Willamette High School Students advance to Nationals





In Chris McGowan’s “Women in Engineering” class, students build a wind turbine from scratch, and then typically compete in a local or regional challenge. This  year, there weren’t any other high school teams to compete against locally, so they took their turbine to the Portland competition at OMSI.

Jon Roschke, the northwest KidWind coordinator,  proclaimed the team, consisting of Helen Lucas and Allison Sanders as,  “Best in the Northwest” by far.  Judges were three young engineers from the Portland area and commented that these two really knew their stuff, from CAD design to fabrication to knowledge of the subject matter.
Winners of the regional competition are invited to compete at the AWEA Windpower National Convention, being held in Anaheim, California this year on May 24th and 25th. More than 40 teams of middle and high school students will convene here.  The competition involves wind tunnel testing, judging by engineering staff, instant competitions, and student presentations.  Top performers win cash and prizes but the real reward for the students and coaches is the connections they make with other students and the wind industry.

Good luck to our Eugene team! An EWEB grant will help fund this trip, along with donations from the community. If you wish to donate, please contact Chris McGowan @ chris.mcgowan@bethel.k12.or.us.



Top teams bring turbines to compete

On April 21st, the top two teams from 7/8th grade classes in the district brought turbines that they built to compete against their peers at Meadow View School in the 4th annual Bethel/EWEB KidWind Challenge.  Students were interviewed by EWEB employees about their knowledge of the subject  and that score was then combined with their turbine output score.
Congratulations to: The “Secret Service’s” Nic Adams, Ashton Mason, and  Eric Tillotson from Meadow View in Sarah Baumann’s class took third place. In second place was Allison Bradshaw’s team, “Shasta B”, Aly Alderette and Caitryn Gilliam. And In first place was Marty Greydanus’ team, “Big Steve” consisting of Caleb Burke and Tyler.
A special thank you to all of the participating teachers: Sarah Baumann, Katie Eyles, Mandy Redmond, Lorena Needham, Marty Greydanus and Allison Bradshaw for taking on this sometimes “messy” project with your students! Also, thanks to the many volunteers from EWEB that helped interview students and run wind-related activities during the competition.

Time to test turbines



Some 7th and 8th grade students at Prairie Mountain, Meadow View and Shasta middle schools have been spending lots of time in the wind lately! They have been learning about renewable energy and how to build the most efficient wind turbine blades possible. Students first try with pre-made blades to test different variables. After collecting data and sharing with their peers, they are then on their own in teams of three to build their own design. The top two winners from each class will move on to the 4th annual KidWind Challenge to be held at Meadow View School on April 21st.


4th graders experiment with Motion and Design


Meadow View students in Mrs. Woods class recently had the opportunity to design their own vehicle to test a variety of variables. Motion and Design is an EWEB supported science kit for fourth grade in which students use K’NEX building pieces to build their vehicles and explore effects of force, friction, and wind resistance on speed and distance.  Children love this hands-on unit that allows them to create and test hypotheses.  They are able to repeatedly evaluate and refine designs which makes the learning fun!