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
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