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Francis Tuttle Team Advances to National Challenge

Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s Junior Engineering Team – JET – recently was named the overall winner at the Governor’s Real World Design Challenge. The team will represent Oklahoma at the National Challenge March 26-29 in Washington, D.C.

Four teams from three technology centers participated Feb. 3 in the state competition at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center.

Oklahoma teams competing at the state level were comprised of students in Pre-Engineering offerings at Francis Tuttle, Gordon Cooper and Tulsa Technology Centers. This year 25 states are participating.  Oklahoma was among 10 states participating last year in the inaugural year of the Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.Francis Tuttle

Each year teams address a challenge confronting our nation’s leading industries. Students use professional engineering software to develop their solutions. This year’s challenge focused on aeronautics and energy use.  It was - Design and optimize a business jet tail for a flight condition of 400 knots true airspeed and altitude of 37,000 feet (standard atmosphere).  The final configuration must balance lift and weight, thrust and drag, and zero pitching moments.

At the state level students learned about the forces of flight, 3-D modeling and testing using a virtual wind tunnel. They also produced a scaled prototype. Teams were provided professional engineering software and tools, including Pro.E (geometric design), FloEFD.Pro (aerodynamic solver), the RWDC Analysis Program (structure and weight analysis) and a NASA tail sizing process. State winners receive an all-expense paid trip to compete in the National Challenge.

Oklahoma’s technology centers, which provide manufacturing, aerospace and Pre-Engineering education, are a natural fit for this type of competitive event, said CareerTech Director Phil Berkenbile.

“Both adult and high school students in Oklahoma’s CareerTech System benefit from the software donations and partnerships developed through the Real World Design Challenge,” said Berkenbile. “This is a tremendous advantage for our students and ultimately Oklahoma’s economy.”

The Challenge is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, in partnership with the State of Oklahoma, Parametric Technology Corp., Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, Tinker Air Force Base and Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.

Lt. Gov. Jari Askins presented awards to the teams. Among JET’s awards were the Design Notebook Quality, Innovation, Teamwork and Collaboration and Effective Networking with Mentors.  Another team from Francis Tuttle received the Design Technical Merit Award.

The National Challenge adds several components to the original aviation design challenge. Teams are asked to develop a marketing presentation explaining the decision for the proposed solution. Presentations will be made before an expert panel representing professionals from industry, academia and the federal government.   Winners will be chosen based on the teams’ design solutions, presentations and project journals.

“The purpose of the RWDC is to excite students about what they learn in school by allowing them to tackle real world problems and see the impact of their solutions,” said Jim Bullington, state coordinator. “The RWDC is helping build an innovative workforce for the future by inspiring and engaging students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education and by highlighting the potential career opportunities in scientific and engineering fields.

For more information about the Challenge or CareerTech Pre-Engineering offerings, please contact Robin Schott, 405-7435432 or Jim Bullington, state coordinator, 405-743-5424.

Written by: Paula Bowles

Publish Date: February 16, 2010

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