Immaculate Engineering Students Win State Competition

DANBURY—A team of Immaculate High School (IHS) engineering students won the state-level 2019 Real World Design Challenge (RWDC), an annual competition run by public and private partnerships that work together to build a solid foundation for the future STEM workforce. This was the first time Immaculate students entered the competition.

James Vigar ‘19 of Ridgefield (team leader, theory of operation and design), Keelan Doherty ‘20 of Danbury (design engineer), Yuxuan Brittany Hu ‘19 of Ridgefield  (business case), Ruining Nancy Yang ‘19 of Danbury (safety manager) and Mackenzy Garden ‘19 of Danbury (graphic design and coordination) were the winning team, called Brave Engineering, in the RWDC 2019 Challenge. The team was coached by IHS Math Teacher Jeanine Antonios and mentored by Syed Raza and Ruthanne Szumski from Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Engines.

The RWDC competition gives high school students the chance to work on real-world engineering challenges using professional science and engineering resources in a virtual environment by applying classroom lessons to real-life challenges found in the working world. The State RWDC 2019 challenge was titled the “Unmanned Aerial System Challenge: Pilot Urban Survey Mission.” The challenge required participating teams to design a drone within certain constraints to survey the health of plants in an urban setting. It also had to follow safety guidelines and build a business case that is profitable to the city and the company.

According to the RWDC State Coordinator, the Immaculate team “supplied the best Design Notebook,” and as the winners of this year’s Connecticut Real World Design Challenge, the team will go on to represent the State at the National Competition in April. Pratt and Whitney will continue to support, mentor and guide the Immaculate team through the National Challenge.
In addition to a college-preparatory academic program that offers over 33 Advanced Placement classes and a STEAM curriculum featuring advanced technology, a CISCO certification program, renovated science labs and engineering classes, Immaculate High School has an award-winning Fine Arts program, a student career internship program, athletic teams that have won SWC and State Championships, 44 clubs and a community service and Campus Ministry program that instills faith, compassion and reverence for others. Community service is also stressed; in 2018 students performed 27,794 hours of community service.  In the 2019-20 school year, Immaculate will be offering additional business courses as well as a Certified Nursing Associate program.

Immaculate High School is ranked by Niche as a top ten best private college-prep high school in Fairfield County and has the highest student SAT scores in the Diocese of Bridgeport schools.

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, personal commitments and service to others. Located in Danbury, Conn., Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s parochial school system.

IN THE PHOTO, L-R: James Vigar ‘19, Mackenzy Garden ‘19, teacher and coach Jeanine Antonios, Yuxuan Brittany Hu ‘19, Ruining Nancy Yang ‘19 and Keelan Doherty ‘20