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Savannah Christian Preparatory School Team Wins First Place at Engineering Design Challenge

Members of the Savannah Christian team watch as one of their team races their go-kart against the go-kart designed by the Savannah Arts Academy team.

(May 5, 2017) – Six Savannah Christian Preparatory School students took home the gold for Best Overall Design at this year’s Engineering Design Challenge (EDC), presented by Armstrong State University’s Engineering Studies Program on Saturday, April 29. The winning team, comprised of Camila Hilsaca, Carsen Christy, Blake Chance, Jay Bradley, Robby McCool and Cameron Shults, received a $500 cash prize.

The challenge tested the ingenuity and creativity of students from Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Calvary Baptist Day School, Savannah Arts Academy, Savannah High School, Groves High School, Woodville-Tompkins Technical and Career High School, Beach High School, Savannah Early College and Islands High School. Each team, comprised of four to six students, designed and built a self-propelled, battery-operated go-kart, with the assistance of a high school teacher, project mentor (local engineer) and an Armstrong engineering student. The final competition included a 15-meter sprint-to-stop race, a timed maneuvering course, a tug of war race and a design poster presentation with an engineering journal evaluation.

“The Engineering Design Challenge continues to serve as a unique opportunity for high school students, teachers, local engineers and Armstrong engineering students and faculty to work together toward a common goal,” noted Armstrong Engineering Professor Dr. Priya Goeser. “The 2017 EDC challenged teams to not only sharpen their engineering design skills but also encouraged creativity and developed soft skills, such as team building and communication. These skills are essential for success in all STEM disciplines, which are a critical part of today’s education.” 

The Calvary Baptist Day School team was the second-place winner, followed by Savannah Arts Academy. Savannah High School stood out with the Most Aesthetic Design, Groves High School was recognized for the Most Innovative Design and Woodville-Tompkins Technical and Career High School created the Safest Design.

Engineers from several local companies evaluated and selected the winning design, which incorporated a thrust reverser system and steering mechanism to clock the fastest times for maneuvering, racing and stopping. Judging criteria were based on creativity in overall design, control of the go-kart, clarity and organization of an engineering journal and a poster presentation, as well as performance in the maneuvering, racing and tug of war events.

The 2017 Engineering Design Challenge was sponsored by the Georgia Space Grant Consortium and Gulfstream Aerospace and supported by Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, O’Brien and Gere, Great Dane Trailers, Delta Metals, Inc., Thunderbolt Marine, Inc., Tharpe Engineering Group, Thomas and Reel Engineering Consultants, Inc., Chatham Engineering and Mitsubishi Motors.

Michael Benjamin, Ph.D.

“My favorite part about being a professor at Armstrong is the opportunity to engage with bright, talented students.”

Michael Benjamin, Ph.D.
Teaching since: 2009