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The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC)

The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual competition that provides high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. Each year, student teams will be asked to address a challenge that confronts our nation's leading industries. Students will utilize 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.

Every teacher that participates in the RWDC gets $1 million in professional engineering software along with training, curriculum materials, and access to mentors. Teams of 3-7 high school students use these resources to solve an engineering challenge that is currently faced by industry.

Students first compete in a state level Governor’s Cup. The team with the best design in each state gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC to compete in the national finals.  Last year, Frankfort High School won this challenge for Kentucky, and traveled to DC in April for the national finals.

The team registration window is open until November 16, 2012, but the state challenge will be released on September 12, 2012.  Registration details can be found at
If you have any questions, please contact me.  This is an excellent opportunity for students!
Melinda Curless, PE
STEM Initiatives Consultant
Kentucky Department of Education
Office of Next-Generation Learners
500 Mero Street CPT 18th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601

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