Corning High School Students to Compete in Real World Design Challenge


February 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Several students from the Corning Community High School in Corning, are among 30 students from across the state who will be competing in the Real World Design Challenge, in Des Moines. The competition provided students with an opportunity to apply classroom lessons to technical problems currently faced in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions. The state-level component of the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is open to the public and will be held at the Science Center of Iowa on Saturday, February 18th The day-long event will take place from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and will include presentations from the participating teams, and conclude with one team receiving the Governor’s Cup, awarded by Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC for the national finals.

Other schools sending students to the competition include: Don Bosco Catholic High School (Gilbertville); Hoover High School (Des Moines); Marshalltown High School (Marshalltown); and, West High School (Davenport). They’ll share their designs for “an efficient, low-carbon-emission and environmentally-friendly personal light sport aircraft (LSA),” as well as their 2000-word essay about what they would see and do if they were given the opportunity to fly their design across the country. The teams will be judged by a panel consisting of professors from Iowa’s Regent Universities, industry professionals and a representative from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid).

Karen Misjak, executive director of the Iowa College Aid says “The Real World Design Challenge is a great opportunity for Iowa students to apply classroom learning to complex problems facing our society.” Misiak says “Iowa is faced with a worker shortage in STEM fields. We need to encourage greater student achievement and interest in STEM careers. By having students confront problems facing our nation’s leading industries, we not only encourage academic achievement, but also show them the promise their future can hold by pursing STEM-related professions.”

High schools from across the state were encouraged to form teams of 3-7 students in grades 9 through 12 to compete in the RWDC. Schools with participating teams received $1 million in professional engineering software, training on the software, curriculum materials and access to mentors. The state-level RWDC is sponsored by GEAR UP Iowa (administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission), the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa State University, John Deere, NASA, Project Lead the Way, Rockwell Collins, Science Center of Iowa, Softronics, University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa.

For more information on the Real World Design Challenge event in Iowa, please contact Iowa College Aid at 877-272-4456. General information regarding the Real World Design Challenge is accessible online at In addition, information to help Iowa families plan, prepare and pay for college is available on Iowa College Aid’s website,