The CNMI Public School System is pinning its hopes on the Marianas High School team, the Aeronautical Dolphins, who will represent the islands and will vie for the national title in the upcoming Real World Design Challenge in Washington, D.C. this year.
The six-member team, along with their teacher-coach John Raulerson, received last Saturday their medals and certificates after the group emerged champion in both the statewide and regional levels of the design challenge.
The team is composed of Jill Ann Arada, Clariza Magat, Stephanie Xiao, Cecilia Huixin Xu, John Paul Aglubat, and Jessica Bigueras.
This is the CNMI's second time to join the Real World Design Challenge, an annual high school competition for all states and territories that aims to transform the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in the U.S. by providing professional science and engineering and learning resources to students and teachers.
Last year, the school's “Green Dolphinators” bagged for the CNMI a meritorious award at the nationals after team members demonstrated their hard work in improvising and overcoming a difficult situation while still making a respectable showing with an attitude that shows they can overcome incredible odds.
For team project manager Jill Ann Arada, a return trip to the nationals is truly a challenge. She was a member of the Green Dolphinators that made a remarkable showing at the nationals last year. With more experience and knowledge this time, Arada hopes for a better outcome. Arada is one of the only two veteran members of the group who will return to the nationals.
Clariza Magat, for her part, said that it's always rewarding and fulfilling when hard work pays off.
“We're coming back [there] stronger, more experienced and ready to show what we got here in the CNMI,” she told Saipan Tribune.
First-timers like John Paul Aglubat and Jessica Bigueras describes the upcoming contest as a great opportunity to learn more about science and aviation.
“I really wanted to be in this team because I know it will be a great help in my plan to become an engineer in the future,” said Aglubat.
The Aeronautical Dolphins designed a small unmanned aircraft system (or unmanned aircraft vehicle) for search and rescue missions. According to the members, their project outlines solutions that will pave the way for future small UAVs.
The group will fly to Washington, D.C. next month.