Students Soar with Design Challenge State Win
Marlborough students are on to the national competition of the Real World Design Challenge following their third state win in a row.
Students will head to Washington for the third consecutive year representing Massachusetts in the Real World Design Challenge as they tackle aviation problems that appear in the real world.
“The goal is to give students real world experience solving problems," said Ben Shepherd who is a co-leader of the team along with Rachel Dass. "You don’t get the full experience until you get to experience putting together a solution that exists in the real world.
Students are given a problem and then tackle it in the best way possible with input from local businesses — such as Raytheon — as they compete at the state level. Marlborough has won at the state level for the third year in a row and will tackle the best from the rest of the country in D.C. in April.
“It is quite an accomplishment to do it not once, not twice but three times so we are all intensely proud of you," said School Committee Member Margaret Dwyer to the members of the team Tuesday night.
This year the team was given the hypothetical challenge of finding a lost boy on a ranch using remotely controlled airplanes. The team chose to field two airplanes that will work together to search the ranch area and positively identify the boy.
“We solve a real problem over a whole year and it is a really rewarding experience," said Shepherd who explained that the challenge has been increased with varying level of tree coverage needing to be accounted for in the national competition.
The program also helps with the connection between businesses in the community and students in the schools, he said. This year the mentors for the group were experts from the U.S. Navy and Raytheon.
“It has been a great journey coming through and learning about this engineering experience," said Shepherd.