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Prince Tech Team Awarded in Design Challenge

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Prince Tech Has Strong First-Time Showing in Pratt & Whitney Real World Design Challenge


HARTFORD, CONN. (January 23, 2016) – By the time A.I. Prince Technical High School students Canetshly Acevedo, Cody Caetano, Kyaw Kya and Joseph Sandone learned of the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC), the team had only three weeks remaining to submit their design – roughly one-third the amount of time other teams had. Still, the first-timers had an impressive premiere showing in the competition, finishing in third place in the state of Connecticut. Andrew Burdick, Project Discipline Manager at Pratt and Whitney and a mentor in the RWDC, said that the Prince Tech team was “noted by several of the judges as the best first-year team we have ever seen.”

The Real World Design Challenge is an annual competition that offers high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. At the state level, the challenge has been supported by Pratt & Whitney for a number of years, with employees acting as mentors to help guide participating students in the execution of their projects. The competition happens in two parts – first a written report worth 485 possible points, and then an oral presentation worth another 80 points given to a live panel of judges. The highest combined score is named the Connecticut Real World Design Challenge champion and is invited to represent the state at the national competition in the spring. This year’s challenge was to design and build an unmanned aircraft designed to assist farmers with crop production to help sustain the world’s growing population.

In just three weeks, the four students from Prince Tech put together a 28-page notebook outlining the concept and design of their aircraft, as well as considerations like selection of materials, patents and cost-benefit analysis. Burdick praised the group for their effort, saying, “We were very impressed with the A.I. Prince team and the support they were able to achieve within the school, along with the energy they brought to this Challenge.” He continued, “Their approach and amount of work they were able to complete in the short time they worked on the project was amazing – we are very excited to work with them again in the future.” Though the Prince Tech team will not be moving onto the national competition, they laid a foundation for future success in the challenge.

Pratt & Whitney is exploring ways to work with AI Prince to further develop their design with the hope of seeing a flying prototype before the end of the school year as a means to continue the ambitious work the team completed at the State Competition.

For more information about the Real World Design Challenge, please reference http://www.realworlddesignchallenge.org/