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Francis Tuttle Team Advances to National Engineering Challenge

Junior Engineering Team – JET – was named the overall winner at the Governor’s Real World Design Challenge.
Francis Tuttle Team Advances to National Engineering Challenge

Standing, L to R, JET team members, Corey Hadley, Jacob Pierce, Tate Roberson, Jessica Barber, Colin Turp, with Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma secretary of science and technology.

 

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 April 15-18 in Washington, D.C.

Four teams from three technology centers participated Feb. 18 in the state competition at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center.

Oklahoma teams competing at the state level were comprised of high school students in Pre-Engineering offerings at Francis Tuttle, Gordon Cooper and Tulsa Technology Centers. This year, 27 states and the District of Columbia are participating.

Each year, teams address a challenge confronting our nation’s leading industries. Students use professional engineering software to develop their solutions. For this year’s challenge, students were tasked with designing a next-generation aircraft wing and presenting the design, research and rationale to a team of aeronautical engineers serving as judges.

“This year’s State Challenge was particularly difficult. Winning the State Challenge distinguishes these students as being among the Nation’s best and brightest,” said Ralph K. Coppola, director, Real World Design Challenge, and senior director government & strategic education programs, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC, www.ptc.com).
JET Team members
Standing, L to R, JET team members, Corey Hadley, Jacob Pierce, Tate Roberson, Jessica Barber, Colin Turp, with Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma secretary of science and technology. See larger image

The Real World Design Challenge is an annual high school competition run by a public-private partnership with the goal of sustainably increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. The partners are focused on working within the context of the American educational system to transform STEM education in the United States by providing professional science and engineering and learning resources to students and teachers.

The Real World Design Challenge partners bring a broad base of resources and expertise from business, government and academia. Throughout the pilot year, the partners have specifically focused on securing resources with high scaling costs. In fact, the 2009 competition brought more than a quarter-billion dollars in resources to schools, and the 2010 competition brought schools nearly a half billion dollars in resources. The Challenge is free to teachers and students. Each teacher gets $1 million in professional engineering software and teams get access to professional mentors. Twenty-five governors have supported the “Governor’s Challenge” at the state level. The National competition is held each year in Washington, D.C.

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.

Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma secretary of science and technology, presented the First Place Trophy to the team.

“The Real World Design Challenge partnership helps address the growing industry demand for workers in STEM. The Real World Design Challenge bridges the needs of the industry with the future of education. It teaches innovation, creativity, collaboration and other 21st Century skills using the expertise that industry, government and higher education have been perfecting for decades. With this real world approach to learning, we can keep our workforce strong and ensure America’s prosperity for the future. These students will be the future innovators that will help keep America the world leader,” Coppola said.

“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 STEM 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 Bullington, state coordinator, 405-743-5424. For more information about Oklahoma’s CareerTech system please go to www.okcareertech.org.

By Paula Bowles, Communications and Marketing  pbowl@okcareertech.org

Posted February 28, 2011