Media advisory: Students compete to build best glider at Boeing Engineering Challenge

Annual competition draws hundreds of K-12 students to Washington University

Students compete to build gliders that fly far, straight and have the longest hang time.(Photo: Danny Reise/Washington University)

What: More than 230 students from the St. Louis region will launch their balsa wood gliders at the 11th annual Boeing Engineering Challenge at Washington University in St. Louis. The competition follows months of designing, building and testing at elementary, middle and high schools across the region, where Boeing engineers have volunteered as mentors.

“We want to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists through hands-on programs like the Boeing Engineering Challenge” said Matt Daniels, senior manager of education relations for Boeing Co. “The Boeing Engineering Challenge brings hundreds of students together and fosters an environment of learning, creativity, innovation and teamwork. In collaboration with Washington University, we are creating pathways and access to technical education and ultimately technical careers for students in our region.”

Students whose gliders have the farthest flight, straightest path, longest hang time and best quality of flight will earn medals. Gliders boasting the most creative appearance and engineering also will be recognized.

When: The competition runs from 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27. The awards ceremony follows at 2 p.m.

Where: The Field House, Washington University in St. Louis Athletic Complex. Free visitor parking is available in Snow Way Garage.

Who: The students, representing 25 schools, will be joined by Boeing engineers as well as Aaron Bobick, dean of the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University; Emily Boyd, director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at the McKelvey School of Engineering; and Carol Nelson and Matt Daniels, of Boeing education relations. Some 1,300 students have participated in the challenge throughout its history.

The annual Boeing Engineering Challenge is sponsored by Boeing in collaboration with Washington University’s Institute for School Partnership and the McKelvey School of Engineering.

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