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Bedford, Lt. Governor Murray, RWDC, April 2, 2013Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined MassDOT Aeronautics Division Administrator Chris Willenborg at Hanscom Field in Bedford to congratulate local students for their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) interest and participation in the Real World Design Challenge, a competition that tests the student’s ingenuity and problem-solving skills in the field of aeronautics.

“Governor Patrick and I applaud the efforts of these young innovators,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray, Chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “Academic challenges, like this one, along with quality education and other enrichment programs, allow us as a Commonwealth to offer students an experience that will shape their futures. I am confident that investing in their education will positively impact our collective future.”

This year's Real World competition involved designing a Small Unmanned Aircraft System that included one or more fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial vehicles while developing a business plan in support of their system. The system had a mission scenario: locate a missing, injured and immobilized child in a large area of New Mexico.

More than a dozen schools entered the challenge. The first place winner and State Champion is Marlborough High School followed by Newburyport High School in second place and Lowell High School third.  Marlborough’s team “WingIt” will compete in the national challenge for the top National title later this month.

“The transportation industry thrives on innovation, and with students like these, our future looks bright,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “I applaud all of the schools who participated in the challenge.”

“Aviation education outreach, such as the Real World Design Challenge, is critical to shaping tomorrow’s workforce in the aviation and aerospace industry,” said MassDOT Aeronautics Administrator Chris Willenborg. “The aviation industry is a significant economic engine creating over 124,000 direct/indirect jobs and generating nearly $12 billion each year in economic benefits for the Commonwealth.”

MassDOT’s Aeronautics Division coordinates the annual Real World Design Challenge, run by a public-private partnership with the goal of increasing and enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The Federal Aviation Administration, PTC, Mentor Graphics, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Cessna are among partners in the program. The submissions were judged by MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics Dr. Jeffrey A. Hoffman.

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