By Shawn Chitnis

DENVER (CBS4)– Students from schools across the Denver metro area competed in a wind turbine challenge Thursday at the Wings Over The Rockies museum.

A team of girls say the competition got them even more excited about science while proving stereotypes about their interests are wrong.

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“I hope to be an engineer someday so I’m trying to learn a lot right now,” Mesgana Sileshi, a sixth grader at GALS.

Girls Athletic Leadership School is a charter school that is part of Denver Public Schools.

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Students attending an event organized by KidWind were working to design and build wind turbines. The project hosts challenges across the country that lead to a national competition. A curriculum provided by the group on wind energy helps teachers and students at participating schools prepare for the events.

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(credit: CBS)

“I really enjoy doing competitions so like it was just super exciting,” said Elliott Harrison, another sixth grader at GALS. “Girls are capable of doing so much.”

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(credit: CBS)

Students had a series of challenges to complete including designing a turbine that could move with air blowing on it and a model that could travel across the floor on wind power.

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“I really like subjects I don’t know much about and science is one of those subjects,” said Delaney Nichols, a sixth grader at GALS.

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Students also said they want to change the perception some may have about their gender and this school subject.

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“Not everything is just about boys or just about girls,” Diana Bedolla, another GALS sixth grader. “This is a way that you can break that stereotype by doing things that they say are only for boys.”

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These girls say it’s not about the education they receive or the enthusiasm they give a certain subject or activity. It often comes down to the encouragement they get at a young age.

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“When we have support from other people, we feel like we can actually do it,” said Sileshi.

Shawn Chitnis reports for CBS4 News at 10 on weekends and CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the week. Email him story ideas at smchitnis@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

Comments (2)
  1. Les Starks says:

    The disgusting way wind turbine developers indoctrinate youth

  2. My daughter was one of the winners in this competition. She is bummed that the story here is a retread of “girls breaking gender-norms” and not so much about how awesome her windmill was.

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