Science, Technology, Engineering & Math | News

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical U Kicks Off Real World Design Challenge

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has released the details of next year's Real World Design Challenge scenario.

Open to students in grades 9-12, this year's scenario asks participants to focus "on the design and implementation of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to increase food production for the world's growing population through precision agriculture," according to a news release.

"Embry-Riddle Worldwide is honored to be involved with the Real World Design Challenge on several levels this year," said Embry-Riddle Worldwide Chancellor John R. Watret, in a prepared statement. "Our faculty has done an excellent job in developing a scenario that will promote critical thinking and problem solving in an interactive and experiential setting."

To assist with the free challenge, teachers will be provided with $1 million in engineering software, as well as training, access to mentors, and curriculum materials. Team solutions will be judged at the state level in the next few months, and a winning design will be selected at the national finals in November 2014. Members of the winning team will each receive a $50,000 scholarship to attend classes at any of ERAU's three campuses.

"Our leadership recognized this as a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the furthering of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and create a highly relevant and valuable experience for future college students, engineers, and system developers," said Brent Terwilliger, ERAU assistant professor of aeronautics and UAS discipline chair, in a prepared statement. "The support from my colleagues and leadership for this project has been exceptional and truly representative of the dedication and knowledge that is associated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide."

Go to to sign up for the challenge or to see a list of resources for the competition. More information about the Real World Design Challenge is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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