Students battle FIU's 'Wall of Wind'

12 fans simulate Category 1 hurricane

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WESTCHESTER, Fla. - South Florida high school students battled Florida International University's Wall of Wind as they looked for ways to reduce hurricane damage to buildings.

The six teams competed at the university's International Hurricane Research Center on Wednesday. They built prototype mini-roofs to withstand hurricane-force winds.

"They're designing these -- really they're roofs of buildings like buildings for a school -- and they're making presentations and they're actually testing these models in the Wall of Wind," said Local 10 Hurricane Specialist Max Mayfield, one of the judges for the competition. "Some of these are ninth graders. They're talking about aerodynamics and they've thrown a few equations up there that I'm not sure I understood."

The Wall of Wind's 12 fans simulate a Category 1 hurricane.

"We tried to make a roof that was aerodynamic so it would take the wind away from the sides and lift it up above the roof," said Christian Juarez, a senior at Miami Northwestern High School.

Mayfield said Coral Park High School won first place, North Miami High placed second, and Booker T. Washington High finished third.

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