Lauralton Hall's engineering team was named the winner of the 2019 Sikorsky STEM Challenge at the Connecticut Expo Fest May 31. The team, dubbed the "Wright Sisters," earned the highest score -- three years running. (In a segment about the win that aired June 3, NBC Connecticut 30 news anchor Kevin Nathan called Lauralton's track record of wins a "STEM dynasty!")
The competition, now in its eighth year, provides the opportunity for high school students to partner with an engineering mentor from Sikorsky – in our case alumna Ashley Currivan '10 -- and to solve an engineering design challenge by applying the lessons of the classroom to real-world technical problems. The team must develop project plans, present to Sikorsky engineers, and meet objectives throughout the year by submitting reports and videos.
This year's challenge was to design the cockpit control layout for a helicopter flight deck. This design provides alternate controls for the existing collective stick, cyclic stick, anti-torque pedals, and throttle with a new control layout, taking into consideration human factors and the pilot's ease of use. An Arduino was programmed with sensors to model the final control design to show how the control layout can fly a virtual helicopter. The LH
team's winning design earned for the School a license valued at $10,000 for Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D® simulation software used by pilots, commercial organizations, militaries, and academia for immersive, experiential learning.
Congratulations to 2018-2019 team members Jessica Abbazia '19, Katie Backus '21, Lanie Barnett '20, Caroline Begg '22, Cali Carrignan '19, Leah Cogguillo '19, Katherine Connolly '19, Elle Corcoran '21, Anna Farruggio '21, Isabella Fonseca '21, Babette Gilles '21, Kiera Henry '22, Peggy Hutchinson '19, Nikki Karagiannis '22, Grace Kelly '21, Rachel Lacobelle '20, Chelesa Larke '22, Shelly Liang '19, Hannah Liao '19, Molly McAndrew '21, Mauve McClure '21, Katie McLaughlin '21, Caleigh Peloso '21, Jade Petalcorin '21, Sarah Rescsanski '22, Isabella Seccharoli '19, Shreya Simhadri '20, Lily Stockwell '22, Raaga Subramanian '20, Victoria Vizza '22, Catherine White '21, Rory Woods '19, and Anna Yang '19.
Lauralton has many signature programs, those that are unique to our School. Our participation in the Sikorsky STEM Challenge is one of those programs under the wing of our dedicated engineering team advisors Theresa Napolitano (23 years of LH service in our science department) and Danielle Kratter (five years of LH service in our math department). Read more HERE about Lauralton's participation in the Sikorsky STEM Challenge over the past three academic years.