There’s nothing quite like real world experience for engaging students. And engineers, notorious for their passion to work hands-on, know this better than anyone. That’s the motivation behind the Real World Design Challenge sponsored in part by PTC. Every year RWDC presents high school students across the US with an actual design challenge being faced by real organizations- then sets them to work.
According to RWDC Director Dr. Ralph K. Coppola, “The Real World Design Challenge is a public-private partnership dedicated to sustainably increasing the STEM workforce – that’s really our goal”.
This year the competing teams must tackle the complex design challenges of the aerospace industry. In a nutshell, the students must design an efficient, low-carbon-emission and environmentally friendly personal light sport aircraft.
The industry of focus and design project for the contest vary every year but the objective remains the same – encourage and inspire the next generation of problem-solving engineers. RWDC “keeps it real” in five key areas:
- REAL PROBLEMS – Provides a practical application of classroom curriculum
- REAL TOOLS – Inspires students by showing them what is at their fingertips
- REAL ROLES – Requires teamwork, leadership and problem solving skills
- REAL DESIGNS – Fosters creativity, critical thinking, and innovation
- REAL CONTRIBUTIONS – Students can make a difference
Amongst other solutions provided, participants will design their proposed “green aircrafts” within a complimentary edition of Creo. Using commercial-grade professional tools like Creo is one of the cornerstones of the competition. These teenagers get to access the same design tools being used at some of the top companies in the world. To help them along the way PTC also provides connections and access to mentors from its partner organizations across America.
The winning teams from the participating states will receive all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the National Challenge Event in April 2012. For additional information contact Dr. Coppola at [email protected] or check out the Real World Design Challenge website www.realworlddesignchallenge.org.