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Local

Flying Tigers gearing up for national competition

PHS engineering team earns spot in Real World Design contest in D.C.

The Flying Tigers Engineering Club at Princeton High School will compete in the national Real World Design Challenge on April 13 in Washington, D.C. Team members are Justin Hoffeditz (from left), Drew Grey, Mason Orr, Connor Colmone, Jakob Ebner, Daniel Naffziger and Matt Cihocki.
The Flying Tigers Engineering Club at Princeton High School will compete in the national Real World Design Challenge on April 13 in Washington, D.C. Team members are Justin Hoffeditz (from left), Drew Grey, Mason Orr, Connor Colmone, Jakob Ebner, Daniel Naffziger and Matt Cihocki.

PRINCETON — For the fifth time in six years, the Flying Tigers Engineering Club at Princeton High School is headed to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Read World Design Challenge.

Earlier this year, PHS beat out more than 20 schools around the state to earn a spot in the national competition, which will be held April 13.

This event gives high school and STEM school students opportunities to use professional engineering software to design a solution to a real-world challenge facing today’s industry.

This year, students were tasked with creating an unmanned aircraft system capable of surveying plant growth in urban areas.

Students explained how this year’s challenge was a little different compared to prior years because of the urban setting. In the past, students had more experience with challenges facing rural agriculture settings. In an urban setting, they said there are more safety issues to focus on, including people, power lines and tall buildings.

Students are putting in the long hours needed now to finish their design and presentation, which they will give to a panel of judges in Washington, D.C. The winning team earns a $50,000 scholarship for each member to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Flying Tigers members are working with local manufacturers, including TCI Manufacturing, Allegion and Pioneer, for feedback and suggestions to ensure they put forward the best product possible. They say this year’s design is more “out of the box,” which they hope will better capture the attention of their judges.

The team is also seeking sponsorships to cover the cost of the $9,000 trip to Washington, D.C. Anyone interested in sponsoring the team can email PHS Engineering Club Adviser Tim Ciesielski at tim.ciesielski@phs-il.org.

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