Real World Design Challenge: Make It Fly

How do you make an airplane more fuel efficient?

That was the Real World Design Challenge this year -- and teams of high school students from across the United States competed to see who could design the best wing and tail for a business jet.

Each year, RWDC provides millions of dollars in free software to schools -- so students can use the same tools as the professionals. Students also get online mentoring from scientists and engineers to help them develop and test their designs.

The students like the technology piece -- but they also like the “contribution to society” piece of the program. They are solving today's problems -- today.

"It's just really taking on challenges that you would never expect to find in high school," says a student from Hawaii. "Something that you never really get to do in class."