Superintendent's Memo #227-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 21, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: 2009 - 2010 Real World Design Challenge
DUE DATE: August 21, 2009

The second annual Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) will be announced on September 14, 2009. High school students, grades 9–12 have the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. Student teams will be asked to address a challenge that confronts one of our nation’s leading industries. Through the RWDC, students will utilize professional quality computer-aided design software to develop their solutions, and will also generate presentations that convincingly demonstrate the value of their solutions.

The goals of the RWDC are

Virginia’s participation in the Real World Design Challenge offers an exciting way for students to acquire STEM literacy and other critical knowledge and skills that will prepare them for high-demand, high-wage and high-skill careers in Virginia.

Registered student teams will be invited to a statewide awards ceremony in February 2010, at which time the winning Virginia team will be announced. Virginia’s top team will be given an additional topic to address when they represent the state at the National Challenge in Washington, D.C. in March 2010.

Additional information about the Real World Design Challenge, including a time line of key events and deadlines, may be found at

For assistance regarding the Real World Design Challenge, please contact Dr. Lynn Basham, technology education program specialist, at or by telephone at (804) 786-4210; or Edward Sullivan, trade and industrial education specialist, at or by telephone at (804) 225-2828.

PIW / EMR / ahr