PLTW Engineering wins 6th Ohio Real World Design Challenge


A four-member team of juniors in Fairmont’s PLTW Engineering program has won the Ohio Real World Design Challenge for a 6th consecutive year. The team consists of Zach Janow, Adam Geiger, Sierra Stewart and Chris Hack.

“Our project was a state challenge, so we competed against a lot of other teams in Ohio,” said Stewart, the team captain. “We had to design an unmanned aircraft system to disperse pesticide over a one mile by one mile area. We had to do everything from the actual design of the UAS itself to the theory of operation and all of the labor costs.”

Every member of the team focused on one aspect of the project, allowing other team members to cross-check their work as they continued developing their design. Then at the end of March, the team submitted their work online, since the challenge was only to design such a system, not to actually build one. This allowed them to focus on the logistics and theories involved in the design.

All they had left to do was wait, and eventually the team found out that they had yet again won the challenge.

“I was extremely excited when I found out that we won,” Stewart said. “Now we get to go to nationals, which is held in Washington, D.C., in November. We were all very excited about that.”

The team looks forward to nationals, noting that they will receive some very special help.

“During the project, we had mentors come in from Ohio State University to help us,” said Stewart. “Now, we get to skip school for a couple of days to go up to Ohio State and talk to some of our mentors about what we can do to further develop our challenge to be the best that we can.”