About the Team

Established in 2015, the Raisbeck Aviation High School (RAHS) Green Energy Team is a high school student-led club that is committed to engineering and collaborating to solve real-world problems with a particular focus on green energy and the environment. Throughout the club’s history, the team has participated in various design challenges in the field of renewable energy.

Team History


Five years ago, several of our founding members participated in the Kidwind competition, an entry-level competition that has middle and high school students build and test basic wind turbines in order to demonstrate mastery of the fundamentals of wind power and design within given parameters.

National Kidwind finals: Our Winning Turbine Preparing for Testing

Four teams from RAHS were sent to the Kidwind national finals securing 1st, 2nd, and 4th. This success inspired us to formally organize ourselves into a unified team, founding Green Energy Team and looking towards more ambitious future projects.

Collegiate Wind Challenge

Following Kidwind, the next logical progression for our first project as a united team was the Collegiate Wind Challenge. The CWC is an NREL-sponsored nationwide design competition that has teams design and builds a refined, high-efficiency, small-scale wind turbine to survive and perform under rigorous testing conditions and built to stringent specifications along with an accompanying business plan. As the first high school team to participate in this challenge, there were many obstacles, both technical and bureaucratic, to overcome, but we succeeded in delivering a product and testing at both at the 2017 CWC technical challenge in Boulder and the 2018 CWC in Chicago. 

Team in Boulder
Team members completing the final assembly of the turbine in Boulder prior to testing

Building off our progress from the 2017 CWC Technical Challenge, we set our sights on the main CWC in Chicago for 2018. We improved our design and refined our manufacturing processes in order to create a much improved, far more sophisticated offering for Chicago with an updated nacelle, new blades, a more advanced computerized control system, and upgraded electronics.

Turbine at CWC 2018 – Chicago
Turbine in wind tunnel preparing for testing at CWC 2018 – Chicago
The full-duration testing at the Collegiate Wind Competition in Chicago at AWEA.
The team in front of the NREL testing wind tunnel.

Although we were unable to officially compete against college teams, we successfully tested our turbine to the specifications of the competition and the turbine performed better than expected.

Solar Car Competition

After the Collegiate Wind Challenge 2018, we felt we had achieved our potential and decided to move on to bigger, more ambitious projects. The team set out to compete for the first time in the 2019 Solar Car Competition. Coming out of our rookie year as National Champions in our division, was a feat we could have only dreamed of. Though the 2020 Solar Car Competition was canceled due to complications caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the team pushed through, going on to win at both the 2021 and 2022 championships. 2023 brought new challenges, as technical difficulties led to a cancellation of the trip for the team. Although it was heartbreaking, the team is not one bit discouraged. This year, team members are excitedly looking forward to competing in the 2024 Solar Car Challenge with several new team members, and a new car!

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