Skip to main content
Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters
Main Content

CAP Squadrons Can Participate in Real World Design Challenge

July 8, 2021

Civil Air Patrol cadets now can participate in The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC). The contest is an annual competition for high school students in classrooms and other organizations. It is run by a public-private partnership with the goal of sustainably increasing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. The partners seek to work within the context of the American educational system to transform STEM education in the United States by providing professional science and engineering and learning resources to students, teachers and CAP cadets. Each classroom teacher or squadron leader who participates in the RWDC gets $1 million in professional engineering software along with training, curriculum materials and access to mentors.

Teams of 3-7 high school students or 3-7 squadron cadets use the resources provided by the RWDC to solve an engineering challenge that is currently faced by industry. Rules are found here. Teams first compete in a state or Wing level Governor’s Cup. The team with the best design is invited to Washington, DC, to compete in the national finals. 

Team registration deadline is in November 2021. If you/your unit is interested in this fun program, please contact Lt. Col. Bob Gilbert, DCS/AE Southeast Region and an RWDC master judge, at He can help you with registration.  

The RWDC began in 2008 through a partnership of industry, government, academia and non-profit organizations. The partners brought together $263 million in resources. The first year, 10 states participated with additional states coming on board every year.

Additional information on history, rules, sign-up instructions and FAQs is available by clicking here

« Back

© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.