Needham, MA, USA, December 9, 2014 – PTC (Nasdaq: PTC), a Founding Member of the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) competition, today announced that team Next Level from South Burlington, Vermont has won the 2013-2014 National Finals Competition. The RWDC is a national design competition for high school students run by a public-private partnership with the goal of increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. This year marks the sixth year of the competition.
By 2050 there will be an estimated additional two billion people on Earth, and further estimates indicate there will be a need to produce 70% more food to address this population growth. An increase in food production can be realized through implementation of higher yield farming, using precision agriculture. The development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) coupled with modern precision agriculture practices are anticipated to support increased production of food required to feed the projected global population growth.
Next Level, representing South Burlington High School in South Burlington, Vermont, won the 2013-2014 Real World Design Challenge with its design of an unmanned system that improves precision agriculture through early detection of European corn borer infestations in large (46,000 acre) corn fields. This allows targeted application of pesticides in order to minimize the impact of broad-based pesticide application strategies.
"The RWDC provides students with a practical application of engineering and product design curriculum," said John Stuart, senior vice president global education, PTC. "Students learn to think critically using a combination of business acumen, problem solving skills and leadership development to address real-world engineering and design challenges. PTC is proud to continue its work with all the RWDC partners to support this year’s competition.
The Challenge was developed by a team of engineers from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide, and the proposed team solutions were evaluated and assessed by a team of judges from government, academia and the industry including Honeywell, the FAA and others. The competition gives students the opportunity to tackle product design challenges typical to what engineers face every day, and offers them the opportunity to better understand the skills required to work in this fast-paced, constantly evolving environment.
This year, more than 3,000 students from across the country participated in the challenge with no cost to themselves or their schools. More than forty partners from industry, government, and academia have donated in excess of $3 billion dollars since the RWDC's inception to make this a reality. After a year-long competition, the champion team from each state across the county competed in the national finals on November 15, 2014.
As a founding member of the RWDC, PTC supports the program through a variety of efforts, including program management and grants of PTC software to each participating school including PTC Creo product design software, PTC Windchill software for PLM and PTC Mathcad software for engineering calculations.