Nineteen Alabama High School Teams Participate in Aviation Challenge


By Lisa Blackwell

Design students will be putting their skills to the test thanks to an infusion of cash.

Kids from nineteen Alabama High Schools qualified to participate in the Real World Design Challenge.

Teams get one million dollars worth of professional engineering software and access to mentors from the industry.

Eleven students on two teams at Brewbaker Tech high School are already brainstorming ideas for their project.

Zach McCaa, student, says “That’s actually even more exciting, we‘ve been talking about how many things we want to build and design and stuff like that it’ s just going to feel awesome when we get done it’s going to be a great achievement.”

Brewbaker Instructor Roberta Ludwigsen says this year's design challenge is based on a light sport aircraft which must meet certain specifications.

"It has to be able to carry two team members, be a low carbon emmisisons plane that is able to travel two hundred miles in an elevation of a thousand feet in under two hours and they're really pushing the eco friendliness of the design this year,” said Ludwigsen.

She says the students will be able to download a copy of the software on their home computers too.

Team member Brandon Sewell says his team is looking forward to the challenge.

“I think this will be a very challenging experience because of the different schools that and their designs and how the quality I've seen from other competitions that these schools have done and I think it will be very interesting to see their designs and what they've worked on,” said Sewell.

Teams have until February 6th to complete their designs.

The state champion team will receive an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the national competition.

The following Alabama schools are participating in the design challenge: Virgil L. Grissom High School-Huntsville; four teams from the US Space & Rocket Center - Space Camp / Aviation Challenge-Huntsville; Booker T. Washington High School-Tuskegee; Bob Jones High School-Madison; North Jackson High School-Stevenson; Fort Payne High School; Huffman High School-Birmingham; Prattville High School; The Way Home School-Athens; Foley High School; Austin High School-Decatur; Russellville Middle School; Calera High School; Wetumpka High School; and two teams from Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School-Montgomery.

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