Path Home Shows 2009 Show Archive April 2009 Show 0914 Real World Design Challenge

Real World Design Challenge

A program called the Real World Design Challenge asks students to solve some of the nation's toughest energy and environmental challenges.
Real World Design Challenge

Real World Design

For more information visit these links:

Francis Tuttle Technology Center
U.S. Department of Energy--Real World Design Challenge

Show Dates

Show 0914: Real World Design Challenge

Air date: April 5, 2009



Rob:  Well, girl power is definitely a big part of a program called the Real World Design Challenge, where students are asked to solve some of the nation’s toughest energy and environmental challenges.  Keith Smith reports.

Keith:  They are trading textbooks at Francis Tuttle Technology Center for a technical task, that just might fly.  The high school students have been asked to start up the nation’s innovation engine, redesign an airplane, and make it more fuel efficient.  Team leader, Sean Stephens, helped get the project off the ground for the Real World Design Challenge.

Sean Stephens:  Well, we’ve had about six months to redesign this airplane, research it,  come up with all the information, physics concepts, aeronautical concepts, applied mathematics.

Keith:  The students have taken top honors in the state, but are still hoping for a passing grade.  Today, they’re being evaluated by engineering professionals.

Ron Delahoussaye:  In a very small amount of time, they learned what our aerospace engineers might take a couple of years to learn.

Keith:  Judge Ron Delahoussaye couldn’t be more impressed.

Delahoussaye:  They are working on a real world problem that people at Boeing, or Cessna, or the Lockheed people are doing today.

Ken Sperry:  To believe that this came from high school students is just amazing.

Keith:  Ken Sperry works as an operations manager for Boeing.  And judging has him talking about the hiring process.

Sperry:  We also started a little recruiting today; so, we’re also looking out for our own interests.

Lt Gov Jari Askins:  And this problem solving exercise is such a great opportunity to showcase some of the best and brightest that Oklahoma has.

Keith:  Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins says, they’re learning real tools for the real world.

Askins:  We believe that this kind of competition helps stimulate the enthusiasm that students already have for learning, and helps put it in a practical sense so that they can see the future of aerospace aviation employment, and what that means to the state of Oklahoma.

Delahoussaye:  They not only learned about aircraft, but they learned how to do research.  They learned how to seek out experts.  They learned how to work with each other.  They learned how to work as a team.

Stephens:  It’s different than just being in a math class, or a physics class, when you actually have to use these things to build something tangible.

Keith:  Engineers in the making, doing on-the-job-training, taking education to new heights.