Four groups from the Commonwealth’s public and private high schools have so far signed up for this year’s Pacific Real World Design Challenge, where they will compete to represent the Pacific region at the national competition.
The Real World Design Challenge, or RWDC, is an annual competition that provides high school students the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment.
Jeaniffer H. Cubangbang, M.Ed, Public School System’s Instructional Technology Program Coordinator, told Saipan Tribune yesterday that competitors from the CNMI include defending champion Marianas High School’s Aeronautical Dolphins, Saipan Southern High School, Tinian Junior & Senior High School, and the Saipan International School.
The four groups will compete with participants from Guam and American Samoa. The winner will advance and represent the region at the nationals.
Cubangbang said this year’s RWDC challenge will focus on the design and implementation of unmanned aircraft systems to support precision agriculture, specifically the monitoring and assessment of crop conditions to achieve increased yield.
MHS’ Aeronautical Dolphins was last year’s national champion, besting winners in 50 states in the U.S.
Cubangbang is confident in the performance of CNMI students this year. “As the 2013 National Winner of last year’s RWDC national competition, I believe our students will have a high success rate in moving to the national competition, which has been moved to November instead of April.”
The CNMI is the only U.S. territory that has won a national championship in this competition.
Cubangbang said the four schools that registered will compete in both the CNMI islandwide level and Pacific region level.
“All RWDC competition notebooks are submitted to me and directly to RWDC. RWDC judges the Pacific state entries in which the CNMI competes directly with Guam and American Samoa. RWDC sends winners a trophy and pays for winners to compete in the national competition,” she said.
Schools or clubs can register for the state competition until Feb. 21. Deadline for submission of their competition notebook is on March 31. Winners will be announced by RWDC on April 20.
PSS will also announce the islandwide winners where the first to third place winners will receive certificates and medals.
Each year, student teams competing in RWDC will be asked to address a challenge that confronts the nation’s leading industries. Students will use professional engineering software to develop their solutions and will also generate presentations that convincingly demonstrate the value of their solutions. The RWDC provides students with opportunities to apply the lessons of the classroom to the technical problems that are being faced in the workplace.