Engineering Team Wins Sikorsky STEM Challenge

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Engineering Team Wins Sikorsky STEM Challenge
dsiroky

Lauralton Hall's engineering team, "The Wright Sisters," soared to the top on May 20 and won the annual Sikorsky STEM Challenge at the CT Expo in Wallingford. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, publicly announced the winner on July 10.

Lauralton Hall's engineering team, "The Wright Sisters," soared to the top on May 20 and won the annual Sikorsky STEM Challenge at the CT Expo in Wallingford. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, publicly announced the winner on July 10.

Now in its sixth year, the Sikorsky STEM Challenge provides high school students the opportunity to partner with an engineering mentor from Sikorsky and solve an engineering design challenge by applying the lessons of the classroom to real-world technical problems.

Lauralton Hall was the only all-girls school of the eight Connecticut high schools chosen to participate in the yearlong competition. The challenge was to design a repair connection for a broken aileron linkage on an F4U4-Corsair plane.

The competition kicked off in October 2016 at the CT Corsair Hangar at the Chester Airport. Students were required to develop project plans, present to Sikorsky engineers and meet objectives throughout the year by submitting reports and videos. The Lauralton team's fly-by-wire electro mechanical control system for the Corsair's Aileron was chosen as the winning project.

The team of 18 students included:

Class of 2017: Rachelle Ambroise, Leila Casaccio, Jillian Cass, Olivia D'Andrea, Alison Haynes, Madelyn Monahan, Michaela O'Donnell and Yashaswini Soleti

Class of 2018: Kailyn Ball, Ann Frances Fox, Kristin Franco, Juliana Gonzalez, Grace Jensen and Grace Murray

Class of 2019: Julia Arsenault, Leah Cogguillo, Isabella Secchiaroli and Rory Woods

Lauralton Hall alumna Ashley Currivan, an engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft, served as the team's mentor. "This is an amazing group of young women," Ms. Currivan said. "The quality of their papers, presentations and storyboards rivaled the work required for college design courses. They dedicated many hours outside of class working on the challenges and it paid off," she added.

The team also was advised by Lauralton Hall faculty Theresa Napolitano and Danielle Kratter.

"This experience provided students with real-world knowledge of what an engineer does on a daily basis," explained Napolitano. "They succeeded because they embraced creative thinking, project management, collaboration and leadership – all skills they will bring with them to the 21st century workplace. We are very proud of our team members and all they have accomplished this year."