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Kennewick Team Wins Design Competition for Fourth Consecutive Year

OLYMPIA — March 16, 2012 — For the fourth consecutive year, a team of students from Kennewick has won a statewide design competition and will get a chance to compete for national prizes, State Superintendent Randy Dorn announced today.

The team, from Kamiakin High School, won the 2012 Washington State Real World Design Challenge by designing a sport aircraft.

Calling themselves Sandy Planes, the team is comprised of the following members: Cooper Atkinson, Kyle Deatherage, Devin Gerboth, Joe Luey, Paul Pierson, Robin Rakowski and Sangeetha Thevuthasan. The team is coached by Kennewick architect Terrance Casey.

“Congratulations go out to Sandy Planes,” Dorn said. “It’s amazing that they’ve won the award four years in a row. That’s a testament to both the students and the teachers who care about the competition.”

This year’s challenge was to design a light sport aircraft that could carry two passengers 200 miles in less than two hours. The design had to follow criteria established by the Federal Aviation Administration and had to satisfy about a dozen other capacity and technical constraints.

Teams followed an engineering process, starting with brain storming, and continuing with conceptual and detailed design phases. The final product was an engineering notebook, which documented their design process, trade-offs that they considered, their airfoil (wing) and other aspects of their design, and an essay describing what it would be like to fly their aircraft across the country.

After winning the Washington State Challenge, the team now heads to the national championship in Washington, D.C., in April. During the national competition, Sandy Planes will refine its initial design to make it as energy efficient as possible. The team will also be submitting another essay to describe a flight in their aircraft from Kitty Hawk, N.C., to Dayton, Ohio. They will present their final designs to a panel of industry experts.

The 2011 Kamiakin High School team, the Connotations of Flight, finished second in the nation.

The Real World Design Challenge is an annual high school competition run by a public-private partnership with the goal of sustainably increasing the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce. Partners include NASA, the Department of Defense, the National Governors Association and numerous university and industry partners.

Two industry partners, PTC and Mentor Graphics, provide up to $1 million worth of professional software and training to each team that competes, and employees of the partners serve as team mentors and judges. The Challenge is free to compete, and challenges teams with real design problems, using professional engineering tools, with team members playing real roles.


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 4/23/2013

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