CCA students to represent PA at national STEM competition being held virtually
A team of students from Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) has qualified to compete at the national Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) on April 25. Although the CCA team is no stranger to the RWDC national competition, having won the state championship for 10 consecutive years, a key change this year is that the competition will […]
A team of students from Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) has qualified to compete at the national Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) on April 25. Although the CCA team is no stranger to the RWDC national competition, having won the state championship for 10 consecutive years, a key change this year is that the competition will take place virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CCA team won the Pennsylvania state competition in February, automatically qualifying it for the national event. During the school’s closure, the team of students has been collaborating virtually to complete its presentation for the national competition.
“On behalf of the CCA community, I congratulate the CCA team for capturing its 10th state title and representing Pennsylvania at the national level,” said Dr. Maurice “Reese” Flurie, president and CEO of CCA. “Since CCA is a public cyber charter school, with the vast majority of its educational programs and services delivered in a virtual setting, CCA’s team is uniquely positioned to shine during this competition. I wish them the best, and I know they will make CCA proud.”
The RWDC tasks students with a professional engineering challenge to design and implement unmanned aerial systems, more commonly known as drones, to improve everyday life and tackle issues facing global industries.
The focus of this year’s challenge is particularly interesting as major companies, such as Amazon, UPS and Walmart — among other large-scale delivery services — seek to incorporate drone usage into their delivery process, a timely topic given the increased use of online shopping during the pandemic.
The challenge required students to design a drone that could carry a payload of up to 5 kilograms, make continuous deliveries through a neighborhood, and complete its route with at least 20 minutes’ worth of battery life remaining.
CCA’s team representing Pennsylvania at the national competition:
- Alisher Aminov, Grade 12, Lebanon, Lebanon County
- Timothy Cribbs, Grade 12, Camp Hill, Cumberland County
- Kenya Mitchell, Grade 12, Steelton, Dauphin County
- Bella Christianson, Grade 10, Waynesboro, Franklin County
- Numayr McPhaul, Grade 10, York, York County
- Luke Zimmerman, Grade 10, Palmyra, Lebanon County
“Leading this year’s CCA team was a great learning experience, and I look forward to competing with the team at the national level,” said Alisher Aminov, the team lead for CCA. “It was very rewarding to see the connection between this challenge and real-world business problems that companies are facing, and as cyber school students I feel that our team was uniquely prepared for the added challenge of the competition being transitioned to a virtual setting.”
The RWDC was founded to help build the United States STEM workforce by allowing high school students to work and compete in a collaborative setting on real global engineering challenges. The competition aims to equip the next generation of engineers and scientists with the knowledge to address real-world challenges. The CCA team has finished in second place nationally twice since first participating in the RWDC in 2008.
The competition will virtually host teams from the United States and China as they present their inventions to a panel of judges who have careers in the aerospace and defense industries.