The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual high school competition run by a public-private partnership with the goal of sustainably increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. The partners are focused on working within the context of the American educational system to transform STEM education in the United States by providing professional science and engineering and learning resources to students and teachers.
The RWDC began in 2008 through a partnership between industry, government, academia, and non-profit. The partners were committed to bringing a program to schools that brought professional engineering resources into the classroom and could scale to every school in the United States. The partners brought together $263 million in resources and began working with governors to build an infrastructure of states to scale across the United States. The first year, ten states participated. And we have added states every year.
Every teacher that participates in the RWDC gets $1 million in professional engineering software along with training, curriculum materials, and access to mentors. Teams of 3-7 high school students use these resources to solve an engineering challenge that is currently faced by industry.
Students first compete in a state level Governor's Cup. The team with the best design is invited to Washington, DC to compete in the national finals.
The Challenges have all been focused on the aerospace industry so far, but as the RWDC grows, we will add other content areas as well. We are constantly looking for new partner organizations, states, and school teams to participate.
Student Eligibility Requirements
A) Participation is limited to students living in OR enrolled in schools located in a state or territory that is hosting a State Competition. Schools are defined to include public, private, charter and home schools.
B) To be eligible to compete as a student team member, a student must be currently enrolled in grade nine, ten, eleven or twelve. Students enrolled in school environments with alternative grade or level designations must be engaged in a program of study equivalent to the corresponding high school grade level.
C) Student team members must have attained the age of 13 as of November 17, 2017.
D) Student team members shall not yet have attained the age of 20 as of November 17, 2017.
E) Teams may be organized around extra-curricular organizations such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and science clubs, etc. Teams from extra-curricular organizations are encouraged to participate.
F) Student team members may only participate on one team.
G) Student team members may not transfer from one team to another.
H) Student team members may not be changed after March 13, 2018.
A) An RWDC team consists of one designated coach and no fewer than three nor greater than seven student members.
B) Only those team members identified on the official registration form are considered part of the team.
C) Each team may compete in only one state competition and all team members must be permanent residents of that state OR be enrolled in a school located in that state.
D) Teams may not have students from more than one state.
E) Teams may have students from more than one school.