Straight to success

Ralph S. Quatrano, PhD, Washington University’s dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science checks out the hand glider designed and built by Fort Zumwalt West students (from left) Danny Tobin, Maranda Barnes, Julie Chen, Phung Ngo and Michael Sulzer — also known as Team Caecila Attica — during the Boeing Engineering Challenge May 6 at the Washington University Field House in the Athletic Complex. About 180 high school students from 10 area school districts launched hand gliders from the Field House balcony in a competition to determine which has the farthest flight, the straightest path, the longest hang time and highest quality of flight. Planes with the most creative appearance and most creative engineering also were recognized. Team Caecila Attica won first place for straightest flight path. The students created the gliders out of balsa wood with consultation from Boeing engineers and WUSTL undergraduate Boeing Scholars. Besides learning important concepts in physics and aerospace engineering, the winning teams received medals. Boeing is a longtime supporter of K-12 education initiatives at WUSTL, including teacher graduate programs through WUSTL’s Science Outreach.