DPS RK Puram team wins Real World Design Challenge 2020
A team from Delhi Public School (DPS) RK Puram in New Delhi has won the Real World Design Challenge 2020, an annual international competition that provides students of grades 9-12 an opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges. The seven-member team ‘Samaritan Aerospace’ beat teams from countries like the US, the UK and China among others, to win the contest.
“The challenge was to ‘design an unmanned aerial system for package delivery’ and our team did a fantastic job and won the grand prize. It is for the first time that an Indian team has won the grand prize in this competition,” said Zohaib Ehtesham, a member of the DPS team. The other members of the team are Aditya Swaminathan (team leader), Karan Handa, Advitya Singhal, Siddhansh Narang, Ashvin Verma and Om Gupta. Ajay Goel, a physics teacher at DPS RK Puram, is the coach of the team.
Talking to Hindustan Times online, 15-year-old Aditya Swaminathan said, “the most challenging part of the competition was the engineering aspect of it, as you are expected to use tools that actual engineers do and work like a professional.” He said that the design created by them was unique and very innovative. “We worked hard to create such a design that the unmanned aerial vehicle or drone built by using that design could carry more weight than that of its own. Our model also was less noisy and all this gave us the edge,” he said. Swaminathan said there were seven teams at the national level and around 50 at the international level in the competition.
“I was in DPS RK Puram when we had registered for RWDC but have now moved to QSI International School of Dushanbe in Tajikistan,” said Swaminathan.
Each member of the winning team are provided $50,000 scholarships from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
“The prize amount is provided only to study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which is one of the elite universities to study Aeronautical Engineering,” said Zohaib.
Zohaib said there were two rounds in the competition and teams shortlisted in the first round were supposed to go to Washington DC but due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease the travel plan had to be shelved and a webinar was held to bring the teams together for the final presentation.
Talking about the success mantra of his team, Zohaib said that very good co-ordination and complete co-operation between the team members was a big factor. We got enough time to work on our project as the schools were closed due to the lockdown.
Zohaib thanked his school and seniors for their support during the competition. “Last but not the least, I must sincerely thank my parents and family members, as nothing could have been achieved without their love and encouragement,” Zohaib said.
Team coach Ajay Goel praised all the seven members of the victorious team saying they have put in a lot of hard work while preparing for the challenge. “Our teams from DPS have been participating in similar competitions from the last 8 to 10 years and experience of the seniors provided invaluable guidance to the winning team,” he said.