Real World Design Challenge

Interactive area for Real World Design Challenge Committee

The Aerospace States Association is working with educators across the country to promote the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) – a program that gives high school students practical experience leading to science and engineering-based jobs. An annual competition aimed at engaging youth in aeronautics and engineering, RWDC invites students to develop solutions to practical aviation design challenges posed by industry experts. Last year, 28 states and 600 high schools participated in the challenge, and I hope to see even more involvement during the 2011-2012 school year.

RWDC is run by a public-private partnership focused on long-term economic competitiveness, and thanks to corporate support, the program is offered free to students and schools and incurs no cost to taxpayers. I encourage you to bring your state on board today, as a way of supporting education and workforce development with no financial burden to your state.

The program will create tremendous opportunities for the students of your state. Every state champion team receives an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., and students involved in previous competitions have earned paid internships through their participation. Last year’s national champions presented their work before the president at the White House.

The program not only offers a creative educational opportunity for students, but it also provides some excellent resources for the classroom. Each teacher that registers a team will receive professional engineering software for use in the classroom that costs industry buyers $1 million. Students will also receive access to mentors from industry, government and academia.

If your state is already participating, please urge as many of your teachers as possible to take advantage of this exciting opportunity for their students.

For more information on the Real World Design Challenge, visit http://www.realworlddesignchallenge.org, and to participate, contact RWDC Director Dr. Ralph Coppola at (703) 298-6630 or rcoppola@ptc.com

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