Real-World Design Challenge (RWDC)

2023 Registration is Now Open

Register for 2023 Real World Design Challenge

The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual competition that provides high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. Each year, student teams will be asked to address a challenge that confronts our nation’s leading industries. Students will utilize professional engineering software to develop their solutions and will also generate presentations that convincingly demonstrate the value of their solutions. The RWDC provides students with opportunities to apply the lessons of the classroom to the technical problems that are being faced in the workplace.

Legacy Bridges is a premiere mentor for this design competition for students. Dr. Joi Spraggins is the RWDC PA State Coordinator and The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Greater Philadelphia Section Public Policy Officer. She is also a National Society of Black Engineers Lifetime Member and serves as the PA Ambassador the NSBE Aerospace Special Interest Group.

In addition, Jamil Grant, Legacy Bridges STEM Scholar and Drexel University Alumni, serves as the AIAA Greater Philadelphia Board Secretary. Jamail is also a NSBE Aerospace SIG Member and will be Co-Championing the RWDC pilot program with Dr. Joi, Ernest D. Levert, Lockheed Martin Fellow and Dr. Shamara Collins, Legacy Bridges STEM Academy, Inc. Board Members.

We also team with Drexel University to provide additional mentors to high school students teams.

Steps for Competing in the Challenge:

1. Register a team
To register your teams fill out the form Teams are made up of 3-7 students in grades 9-12. Each team needs a coach who is a teacher or other adult to help organize the team and act as the point of contact for the team. You may change or add team members through the registration period as needed. Coaches may have as many teams as they want but students may only be on one team.

2. Go to the “Getting Started” page and find your resources
The Getting Started page has a lot of important resources for teams. Go to the Getting Started page and find the following important Challenge materials:
Challenge Statement – provides an overview of the engineering problem you will be solving in this year’s challenge. Detailed Background (coming soon)- provides background information on the Challenge and adds detail to the Challenge Statement. Engineering Design Notebook Template (coming soon)- is a Word document provides the specific format detailing what sections are needed in the Engineering Design Notebook so it is aligned with the Scoring Rubric. Scoring Rubric (coming coon)– Ultimately teams are graded on the submission of an Engineering Design Notebook that details the teams’ design. The Scoring Rubric explains what is expected in the Engineering Design Notebook and provides details on how the Engineering Design Notebook is scored.Student/Coaches/Teachers Guide (coming soon)- is a reference for Teams. It provides greater detail on what needs to be done throughout the competition.

3. Work on the Challenge

Ultimately you will need to prepare and submit an Engineering Design Notebook. Teams of judges will evaluate your work based on what you submit in your Engineering Design Notebook. Your team should look through the Scoring Rubric and begin to do research to design a system to address the questions posed in the Scoring Rubric. The headings in the Scoring Rubric should be used as the headings in your Engineering Design Notebook. Fill in sections of the Engineering Design Notebook as you complete the work in each section. On the getting started page you will also find software, webinars, and a survey.

4. Submit your solution by the deadline.
You should turn your Engineering Design Notebook to your State Coordinator and to Jeff Coppola ( The deadline is posted here.

We are providing $50,000 scholarships from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to
each student on the International Champion team.