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UMaine Invites Students to Compete Friday for $20,000 Engineering Internships at Windstorm, Wind Blade Challenges

What do you get when you combine wind, water, loads of fun, and more than 425 middle and high school students and teachers from more than 40 schools in Maine? You get the Windstorm and Maine Wind Blade Challenges on Friday, April 27, at the University of Maine’s New Balance Student Recreation and Fitness Center.

UMaine, the Maine Wind Industry Initiative, and the Maine Composites Alliance will welcome participating middle and high school students from more than 40 Maine schools for the daylong events, which begin with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Winners of both competitions receive $20,000 paid internships with UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center.

“These events are the perfect combination of two of Maine’s greatest natural resources: deepwater offshore wind energy and talented students,” said Habib Dagher, director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “Both will usher Maine into the future as the world leader in composites technology and energy independence.”

UMaine Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Susan J. Hunter will give a keynote address during the opening ceremony. Students will begin testing their components at 9:30 a.m. There will be an awards ceremony at around 4 p.m.

Results will be available at

The Wind Blade Challenge matches high school students with composites manufacturers in Maine to research, design, and manufacture model wind blades. The challenge culminates in a fun competition to see which team invented the most efficient blade.

In 2011, the DeepCwind Consortium launched Windstorm Challenge to recruit talented Maine high school students to study engineering and renewable energy at UMaine. Student teams design, develop and test a floating wind turbine concept, and pitch a business plan to a panel of business leaders.

Now in its second year, Windstorm Challenge has added in-classroom activities, school tours of UMaine’s new Offshore Wind Laboratory and engineering-themed summer camps. It is now one of the largest and most successful science and engineering competition programs in the state.

For high school students who are interested, the Advanced Structures and Composites Center will host its Windstorm Challenge Summer Camp this July. Details will be released at Friday’s event and on

Contacts: Elizabeth Viselli (Windstorm Challenge) or (207) 581-2831
Paul Williamson (Maine Wind Blade Challenge) or (207) 242-3521
Jessica Bloch, or (207) 581-3777

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