By DE Editors
PTC also provides connections and access to mentors from its partner organizations across America who are participants in the competition and program management for the competition.
The challenge provides high school students in grades 9–12 with the opportunity to work on real-world engineering challenges in a collaborative, team-based environment, applying the lessons of the classroom to the technical problems of the workplace. The winning teams from each participating state, including Newburyport High School in Massachusetts, Warren Consolidated Schools—Career Prep Center in Michigan, and Hutchinson High School in Minnesota, received an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete at the National Challenge Event March 26-29, 2010 and will receive their awards at an event at the National Air and Space Museum.
Every year the challenge is developed and implemented by a public-private partnership committed to providing resources to students and schools to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The partnership is dedicated to bringing professional tools and resources to students and providing real-world engineering experiences in which they can apply science and mathematics principles. Student teams are asked to address a real challenge that confronts our nation’s industries. This year, teams were asked to design a plane looking at the forces of flight, lift, weight, thrust, and drag, with the aim of enhancing fuel efficiency.
“Across the board, there is a shortage of engineers who have the skills that PTC’s customers need, and we are honored to support such an important effort that helps to get the future of America excited about science, technology, engineering and math,” says Ralph K. Coppola, director, Real World Design Challenge and director, Government & Strategic Education Programs, PTC. “We are working to replenish the engineering workforce by getting more students introduced to the design process and innovation, which is driving more interest in engineering degrees and subsequent careers in the field.”
In addition to PTC, other partner organizations contributed resources to make the Challenge free to all students including Cessna Aircraft Company, Federal Aviation Administration, and Mentor Graphics. Governors from 25states also partnered in 2009/2010 and made the Challenge the “Governor’s Challenge” at the state level competition.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.