MHS students top regional Real World Design Challenge

THE CNMI Aeronautics team composed of Marianas High School students have won the 2018 Pacific Statewide Real World Design Challenge.

Jeaniffer Cubangbang, MHS cooperative education and career technical education teacher and STEM adviser, said they received official notice on Jan. 23 that they won the regional competition by beating Guam and American Samoa.

“This is our seventh consecutive year of winning the island-wide and Pacific statewide competitions,” she added.

On Wednesday, Cubangbang, MHS principal Cherlyn Cabrera and interim Education Commissioner Glenn Muna recognized the CNMI Aeronautics team members for their achievement: Chenoa Bunts-Anderson, Ian Cataluna, Mimi Sakano, Daniel Villarmero, Eun Jun Wang and Gaeun Melody Yang.

The CNMI Aeronautics team: Wun Jun Wang, Chenoa Bunts-Anderson, Ian Cataluna, Mimi Sakano, Gaeun Melody with Marianas High School teacher Jeaniffer Cubangbang. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

.Cubangbang said the team will head to Washington, D.C. on April 21 to compete nationally.

If they win in D.C. they will move on to the international competition, she added.

“We are very proud to present our RWDC winners,” Muna said during the award ceremony at MHS on Wednesday morning.

“MHS continues to produce a lot of winners and we are very proud of them,” he added. “We want to thank all our coaches and mentors for helping and working with our students.”

Muna, an MHS alumnus, said the CNMI has won the RWDC nationwide competition twice already.

“Our students work really hard. Many times they stay up all night. I wish them the best and I hope they will bring home the national trophy,” he added.

Cabrera thanked Cubangbang, the other teachers and the students’ parents. “

She said their students are active in competitions “because they want to challenge themselves.”

She added, “We want MHS to be that kind of environment — a place where people challenge themselves academically, and explore science, technology, engineering and math.”

In an interview, project manager Chenoa Bunts-Anderson and systems and test engineer Daniel Villarmero said their project is an agricultural drone that can efficiently detect and kill pests through spraying, therefore producing more food and sustaining the world’s population growth.

Bunts-Anderson and Villarmero co-designed the aircraft and they started the project in August last year.

“We spent a lot of time brainstorming and thinking,” Bunts-Anderson said. “We reached out to our mentors, got a lot of expertise and grew our knowledge base — then we started designing our aircraft.”

They wrote an 80-page notebook about their project which included a 3D CAD model — a computerized 3D version of the actual aircraft whose flight had to be simulated.

Villarmero said they had to do a lot of calculations to ensure that when their aircraft is built it can actually do its job.

The challenge they encountered was designing the aircraft. “We had a design engineer for three years, Robert Malate, but he left the island [to attend Harvard University],” Bunts-Anderson said. “That’s the gap we needed to fill.”

She said they were excited about going to Washington, D.C. and meeting the other competitors.

Also on Wednesday, MHS recognized Anjanette Jewel Cubangbang and Michaela Gatdula for winning the International Thespian Society Tech CNMI-wide competition.

“They have one more competition to win [the regional one] and then they will go to Nebraska,” Jeaniffer Cubangbang said.

MHS likewise congratulated Julia Malate who was accepted at West Point, the U.S. Military Academy.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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