Real High School Students, Real Design Problems

The world needs design more than ever. In part, because we face new problems, like limited resources in a world where demand just keeps growing. And in part because technology is now opening doors we hadn’t even considered before.

Luckily, some rather brilliant young minds are already addressing these challenges.

One shining example is the RamGT team from Rancho High School in Las Vegas, NV.  This group designed a next-generation truck with highly enhanced fuel efficiency in order to protect fuel and energy reserves in the United States. They even wrote up a business and marketing plan to show that the system could be financially viable.

But they’re not entirely unique. A group of high school students from Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, recently designed an unmanned aircraft system that can locate lost children—again, with a solid business plan.

Both teams met in Washington D.C. a few weeks ago after winning regional and state recognition for their work. They were joined by the best and brightest of student teams from 45 states and 6 U.S. territories to compete in the national finals of the Real World Design Challenge.

And both teams walked away national winners.

The Real World Design Challenge is a program that engages more than 7,800 high school students and is run by a public-private partnership with the goal of inspiring interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.

“The RWDC provides students with a practical application of engineering and product design curriculum,” says John Stuart, senior vice president global education, PTC. “Students learn to think critically using a combination of business acumen, problem-solving skills, and leadership development to address real-world engineering and design challenges.”

As a founding member of the RWDC, PTC supports the program on multiple fronts. We provide program management, software to each participating school, including PTC Creo design software, PTC Windchill collaboration software, and PTC Mathcad calculation software. We also provide introductions and connections to industry partners, team support, and technical and administrative support.

We were proud to be part of this year’s RWDC, and congratulate the Marianas High School Aeronautical Dolphins and the RamGT team. We hope to see you in next year’s competition and in the decades ahead as you grow professionally.

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