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February 1, 2010

Illinois Transportation Secretary Announces Real World Design Challenge Winner
Innovative Program Will Educate Engineers of Tomorrow

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig announced today announced that a State winner has been chosen for the Real World Design Challenge.  The Real World Design Challenge is a national education initiative that puts high school students alongside industry experts to gain engineering experience by developing a solution to a proposed challenge.  This year’s challenge involved designing the tail section of an aircraft to maximize fuel efficiency.

24 teams statewide signed up to compete in the challenge, and a panel of judges comprised of aviation and engineering professionals reviewed the submittals.

The winning team was the “JetHawks” from Heritage High School in Broadlands, Illinois.  The team is comprised of Clayton Bosch, Eli Forster, Spencer Lowe, and Philip Mayes.  Their coach is Scott Gerard, an Industrial Technology/CAD teacher at the school.  The “JetHawks” will go on to compete in the National Challenge in Washington, D.C. on March 29, 2010.

“Congratulations to the JetHawks for their winning entry.  We’re very proud of the effort and initiative shown by all the schools who participated and submitted solutions in this year’s competition,” said Secretary Hannig.  “Hopefully next year we can encourage even more teachers and students to get involved in this unique and rewarding experience.”

As part of the challenge, each participating school received free state-of-the-art engineering software to use with their students as well as the opportunity to collaborate with mentors in the aviation and engineering fields.

The Real World Design Challenge is a partnership involving the State of Illinois, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Aviation Administration, Parametric Technology Corporation, and others.  It is open to all high schools in Illinois. For information about participating in next year’s challenge, please contact the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics at 217-524-8763 or visit www.dot.il.gov/aero.

Additional information about the Real World Design Challenge can be found at www.realworlddesignchallenge.org


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