PHS Students Win First Place in Northrop Grumman High School Innovation Challenge
Palatine High School’s Computer Integrated Manufacturing students found success in a RC hovercraft competition.
The hovercraft built by Palatine High School students placed first in the Northrop Grumman 2016 High School Innovation Challenge and the team also earned the Spirit Award.
“The whole group of students became more than just a class, it became a common goal which each student was invested,” said Alex Larson, Palatine High School Applied Technology teacher and sponsor. “They put in countless hours in and out of class and knew that they could rely on one another to get to the end.”
Palatine competed against teams from New Trier and Oak Park River Forest High Schools. During the event, each team presented their project and ran their hovercraft through the obstacle course. Since the beginning of the year, three Northrop Grumman engineers have mentored Palatine High School manufacturing students since December with building a RC hovercraft to compete in the competition.
According to Northrup Grumman’s website, students were asked to build and optimize a remote-controlled hovercraft that can compete in a competition that stresses different capabilities of the hovercraft. The directions state that the competition stresses a need to create a hovercraft design that has good acceleration, top-end speed, maneuverability, and control.
Palatine High School senior Kayla Ruiz said building the hovercraft was a group effort and everyone on the team contributed in some way in planning and/or building.
“I had never seen a whole class, and then some, work together so closely. I’m extremely proud of everyone,” Kayla said. “The great teamwork set by this group of bright individuals sets the standard for all my future group projects, and I’ve been honored to work with [classmate] Oleksiy. He’s so hardwired for the analytical thinking that is so central to engineering and he’s been a very direct leader in all aspects of this project. When we heard the results that Saturday, I still felt some shock at our victory even with all the hard work we contributed. The Spirit Award was a total surprise. It really speaks to the humility and determination of everyone.”
For more information, please visit the Northrup Grumman website here.