Gov. Tomblin presents Cabell-Midland High School's Aether Aeronauts Team with the 2012 Governor's Cup Real World Design Challenge Award.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today recognized Cabell Midland High School's Aether Aeronauts team for earning first place in the 2012 Governor's Cup Real World Design Challenge. This is the school's third consecutive year to take home the trophy.
"I am extremely proud of these up and coming students of science and technology," Gov. Tomblin said. "The Aether Aeronauts team's design demonstrates these young minds have mastered the science, technology, engineering and math skills necessary for tomorrow's workforce in advanced industries. I wish them the best of luck as they compete for the national title."
The Real World Design Challenge is an annual high school competition run by a public-private partnership with the goal of sustainably increasing the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce in our nation. This year's challenge was to design an efficient, low-carbon-emission and environmentally friendly personal light sport aircraft. The Aether Aeronauts and their coach Jenny Nash will travel to Washington D.C. later this month to present their design to a panel of judges and experts from the aerospace and defense fields. Aether Aeronauts team members include Andy Thomas, Cody Legge, McKinley Conrad, Daniel Crow, Michael Kuhn, Austin Davis and Chase Parsons.
NASA Independent Verification and Validation Educator Resource Center coordinates the Real World Design Challenge in West Virginia in cooperation with the Mid Atlantic Aerospace Complex, TASC Inc., the June Harless Center at Marshall University, the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratories, West Virginia University and the Rahall Appalachian Transportation Institute.
"In the three years, West Virginia has been participating in the Real World Design Challenge, I have witnessed tremendous personal growth in all our teams as they progressed through the competition. Several of the judges, including Dr. Don Ferguson of the National Energy Technology Laboratories, have commented to me that the quality and rigor of the analysis by our second and third year teams is at or above college engineering levels. I am confident the Challenge is improving STEM interest and aptitude along with enabling these exceptional students an opportunity to prove that they are not only some of our brightest in West Virginia, but in the nation," said Todd Ensign, NASA Independent Verification and Validation Facility, Real World Design Challenge WV Coordinator.
The Challenge is free to teachers and students. Each participating team receives $1 million in professional engineering software, gains access to professional engineering mentors, in addition to receiving free training and free high-powered laptop computers.
Amy Shuler Goodwin