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Real World Design Challenge US Getting Started Page

What should my team do to get started?

Step 1: Register:

Click the link below and fill out the form. Teams can be between 3-7 students and must have a coach. A coach can register more than one team. Students are NOT allowed to participate on more than one team.

Step 2: Take the Student Challenge Survey.

Step 3: Get some CAD Software

Aspects of the challenge may require you to use some form of CAD (computer aided design) software. You are free to use whatever kind you would like to complete the challenge. Feel free to find the type that works best for you. One possible option is below.

Creo 8.0

Fill out the form located at the following link and then click download.

If you have any issues Request Technical Support and you will receive a response on how to deal with your individual issue

Step 4: Read the Coaches Guide and Challenge statement.

The easiest way to get your team prepared for this challenge is to review the RWDC Coaches Handbook. The handbook will outline the details for this challenge and what your team is expected to complete.

Step 5: Get a Mentor.

The success of a team to solve the given challenge usually requires the help from a mentor. Mentors help teams in an area that they have no expertise. Please review the list and contact a mentor as soon as possible.

Step 6: Learn the Software.

Below are links to tutorials to learn the sample CAD software we gave you. There is also a link to put in a request for technical support. If you have a licensing or other issue with the software please submit a request for technical support. After your request you should receive a detailed message on how to fix your issue. If you are using a software other than Creo you may need to find tutorials to help you learn how to use it.

Step 7: Develop a Plan for Raising Money to Compete in the National Championship.

Teams that win the State Championship will be invited to compete in the National/International Championship. Remember the International Winning Team gets a $50,000 scholarship to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for each team member!

Teams that are invited to compete in the National/International Competition need to pay a registration fee. Teams registration fee will cover all of the costs related to travel, stay, and meals at the national competition. There are opportunities for teams to apply for scholarship grants to cover this fee.

We have provided all of the materials you will need to help you with your fund raising and to apply for scholarship grants. Teams should review the following documents and develop a fundraising plan to obtain their National/international Competition Registration Fee. Teams who do not wish to compete at Nationals may opt out, in which case the second place team will be invited to compete in the National/International Championship.

NASA Space Grant Universities may be a source of funding for your RWDC National registration fee. They support Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Education. There are opportunities to apply for grants your state. The following document explains what to do to apply for a Space Grant.

Step 8: Review additional materials about challenge subjects

Challenge Overview Videos

There is a video series that will go up on a new page on how to start and be successful with the challenge.


We will be having webinars at a time TBD

Below are additional instructional videos giving an overview of subjects that could be useful for creating your design.

Other RWDC Challenge Resources