Helicopter challenge to be held in Conn.
STRATFORD, Conn. – Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., has launched the fifth annual Sikorsky Helicopter 2050 Program and Challenge, which asks children ages 9-16 to create an eco-friendly helicopter of the future that addresses potential challenges of 2050.
The national competition will run until Oct. 15.
The winner will receive the Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator Award and a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, the young innovator will be flown to Sikorsky’s headquarters in Stratford to tour the assembly lines of the iconic Black Hawk and Seahawk military helicopters and meet with Sikorsky rotorcraft engineers.
"Our goal is to challenge kids to think about the future and how they can use their science and math skills to make a positive change in the world," said Judith Bankowski, vice president and chief information officer of Sikorsky Aircraft.
"We understand how important it is to develop students’ skills and confidence in these subjects and to give kids of all backgrounds an opportunity to see themselves as future engineers, technologists and scientists."
The challenge is a part of Sikorsky’s commitment to encouraging students’ hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program also gives the corporation an opportunity to develop long-term relationships with tomorrow’s engineers.
Last year’s winner, Hana Bidon, 16, of West Haven, designed the Skylift Rescue 968 by mimicking the bone structure of birds to develop a lighter and more aerodynamic helicopter. The main body of the aircraft is made out of recycled fiber-composite materials, which use 3-D vascular networks to self-heal. As a result, this helicopter repairs cracks with the aid of a technician.
Sikorsky co-sponsors the challenge with By Kids For Kids, a Connecticut-based organization whose educational content inspires kids to become successful inventors. The challenge honors Sikorsky Aircraft founder Igor Sikorsky, who, in 1939, led an engineering team that developed a vertical lift machine with a core design that is still used in a majority of helicopters.
Schools, museums and camps throughout the country can use the fun, hands-on activities to help students imagine the environmental future and challenges of helicopters. Teachers, program facilitators, parents and museum staff can sign up at helicopter2050.com to download free program materials. For more information, visit the website at http://www.helicopter2050. com/.