Hoover High’s Real World Design Challenge Team Heads to Nationals

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds with Hoover's Real World Design Challenge Team. Not pictured: Thayne Henderson.

Hoover High School’s Real World Design Challenge Team proved to be fierce competitors at the Iowa Real World Design Challenge held at the Science Center of Iowa on February 18, 2012, earning second place honors.

Next stop for the team? They will be competing in the national challenge in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2012.

Team members Thayne Henderson (senior), Chris Markle (freshman), and Amra Softic (sophomore) were challenged to build a light sport aircraft using computer programs and techniques that are used by the aerospace industry. Assisted by mentors from Iowa State University, they began working on the project in October. The team worked on the main wing design that would be attached to a fuselage and also worked on the design of the aircraft’s tail. Finally, the airplane was put through simulations to test if it would actually fly and meet the
requirements of the Real World Design Challenge.

“This has definitely been a major undertaking, and the students have been a dedicated team,” said Mark Schnurstein, Hoover High School teacher and team sponsor. “As a teacher you hope that you can do something that will truly help students to be successful and that might change their lives.”

In Washington, D.C., the team will have the opportunity to meet students from all over the U.S. and will see many different ways to address this design challenge. The students will have the opportunity to meet individuals from all fields of the aerospace industry. There also will be dignitaries and CEO’s from some of the leading aerospace colleges and companies at the national competition.

“This experience provides students with the opportunity to see if engineering is something they want to do and gives them the opportunity to do something truly special that can open doors to a future career,” Schnurstein added. “This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and experience.”

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds presented the Hoover team with the runner-up award at the state competition. A team from Davenport was awarded first place and also will compete in the national competition.