Seniors win Boeing Engineering Challenge
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On May 3, two teams representing MHS emerged victorious in their respective competitive divisions at the Boeing Engineering Challenge at Washington University in St. Louis.
According to The Source, the official newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis, the Boeing Engineering Challenge is an annual competition held in St. Louis that allows students and teachers to test home-made gliders throughout various events and obstacles.
“There were three divisions,” Alex Myers, senior, said. “Division 1 was just a regular glider: you just had to throw it as far as you possibly could. Division 2 had to be a flying wing with no horizontal stabilizer that had to be thrown a long distance in a straight line. In division 3, which is what our division was, we had to make a glider that dropped a ping pong ball in a 20 by 20 square and had to fly over a 10 foot field goal post with the most distance and straightest flight path.”
Seniors Alex Myers, Daniel Swegle, and JT Schuman made up the team that placed first in division 3 of the competition. MHS placed first in the upper two divisions of the challenge.
“There were 76 teams total,” Swegle said. “Division 3 was actually the smallest division. Division 1 was the biggest, but it was the easiest division.”
Prior to building the glider, the trio performed some initial calculations. They then built the glider out of various commonly utilized materials.
“The body was made of carbon fiber, the nose was made out of balsa but it was also covered with carbon fiber, and the wing was cut from a foam cutter,” Myers said. “We used carbon fiber so [the glider] wouldn’t break as easily.”
Schuman said upon arrival at Wash U, the team was confident about their glider’s performance.
“At first, since I didn’t know what the others schools stuff were like, I was a little nervous,” Myers said. “But then, when I saw the other schools’ planes, I knew this was going to be a cake walk.”
The trio’s glider soared for 165.5 feet, the longest length in their division. The glider also made it past the 10 foot football post, the only one in division three to do so.
Following this win, all three of the students will most likely be pursuing engineering in college. Alex Myers will attend Missouri University of Science and Technology; Daniel Swegle will attend Iowa State University, and JT Schuman will attend University of Missouri, Columbia.