Kamiakin students win state engineering challenge - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kamiakin students win state engineering challenge; head to nationals

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  A team of Kamiakin High School students has won the Washington state 2009 Real World Design Challenge.  It's an engineering challenge, sponsored by the Department of Energy, where the kids had to design the tail of an airplane.

Tuesday, leaders from the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction presented the group of seven juniors and seniors with the Governor's Cup trophy and individual certificates.

The team from Kamiakin High includes Tyler Rexus, Andrew Chiou, Edward Chiou, Collin Bampton, James Luey, Evan Jones, and Christopher Pratt.  They used high-tech engineering software to design the tail of a Cessna jet.

Now, they get to compete in the national design challenge in Washington D.C. at the end of March.  The students say the national challenge will be a lot tougher.  Evan Jones, a Junior who's graduating this year says they'll have to "not only design a tail like we had done for the state challenge but also to design a wing, so we were given the fuselage- the middle part of the plane- then we have to build a wing and a tail that compliments each other and work well together. That's the challenge."

This is the second year in a row a team from Kamiakin won the state challenge.