Real World Design Challenge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 1, 2010
Illinois Transportation Secretary Announces Real World Design Challenge Winner
Innovative Program Will Educate Engineers of Tomorrow
SPRINGFIELD – February 1, 2010. 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
Additional information about the Real World Design Challenge can be found at
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2009
Gov. Quinn Announces “Real World Design Challenge”
Innovative Program Will Educate Engineers of Tomorrow
CHICAGO – September 14, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today
announced that Illinois will participate in a national education initiative that
puts high school students alongside industry experts to gain engineering
experience by developing a solution to a proposed challenge. Governor Quinn made
the announcement during the iBIO Institute’s launch of Finding Your Future, SCI:
Science Career Investigation, a program that encourages students to explore
career opportunities in science and technology industries.
“The Real World Design Challenge and the Science Career Investigation encourage
students to pursue math, science and engineering fields, and puts our students
in a great position to enter the working world,” said Governor Quinn. “I hope
Illinois students and teachers will take advantage of these great
This year’s challenge will involve designing the tail section of an aircraft to
maximize fuel efficiency. Details will be provided to challenge participants on
September 14. Project submissions are due January 15, 2010 and state winners
will be announced in early February. State winners will then compete in the
national challenge. The national winner will be announced in Washington, D.C. on
March 29, 2010.
As part of the challenge, each participating teacher receives nearly $1 million
in state-of-the-art engineering software to use with their students. The
students’ project solutions will be evaluated by scientists, engineers, college
and university faculty and teachers.
“This partnership builds on the State Board’s goal to prepare students for
success after high school and it challenges them to use their classroom skills
on real-world projects,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A.
The challenge is a part of Illinois’ Innovation Talent education program, a
public-private initiative designed to connect schools with industry, government
and community partners to solve complex, real-world problems. Together, these
programs are designed to promote innovation-centered education and increase
student achievement in math, science and engineering.
"I am confident that these programs will play an important role in expanding our
state’s talent pool to include candidates who may never have otherwise
discovered opportunities in our state’s high-tech industries," said Norbert
Riedel, Ph.D., iBIO Institute Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Baxter
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.
More information about participating in the challenge can be found at
Illinois schools or teachers interested in participating in the
Real World Design Challenge may contact Lyndsay Casad of the IDOT Division of
Aeronautics at (217) 524-8763 or by e-mail at
For more information, including official rules and registration, please visit
the Real World Design Challenge website at
(L-R): Dr. Ralph Coppola, PTC; Sharon Rushing,
FAA; Governor Pat Quinn; Mary Ellen Schutt, FAA
Governor Quinn & Lyndsay Casad