August 9, 2016 – Thirteen Durango High School students collaborated with students from Argentina, Australia, Iowa, and Texas to form Vulture Aviation, a theoretical aerospace company, to write a proposal for a functional settlement on Mars. In the scenario, the year was 2081 and DHS students in collaboration with 37 other students were given a request for proposal (RFP) to design Bradburyom, a settlement in Hellas Basin on Mars capable of sustaining a population of 20,000 residents.
The 42 hour competition began on Saturday July 30 and concluded at 7:30 A.M. Monday August 1st when teams submitted their proposal to a panel of industry experts. The teams combined intensive research and imagination to developed solutions for the for the challenges of living on Mars. From radiation to dust mitigation to physiological problems, DHS students researched and developed solutions to the same problems that industry experts are currently working on.
Durango High School students were instrumental in the 2nd place finish and success of Vulture Aviation — occupying multiple leadership roles. Paxton Scott served as President of the company, Abby Scott worked as Systems Engineer, and Kyle Robinette headed the automation section.
“The International Aerospace Design Competition is an experience vastly different from any other I have ever experienced — working with other high school students from around the globe combined with very little sleep fosters an environment that can create massive conflict but also incredible bonding” said Paxton Scott, president of Vulture Aviation.
In addition to placing second overall as a company, DHS student Abby Scott received individual honors by receiving the Collaborator award — an award given to an individual who exemplifies communication and teamwork.
The Durango High School Aerospace Design Team has won numerous awards over the years and has been honored by the Colorado State Board of Education. The team brings together a variety of students from 9th-12th grades who participate in the Aerospace Design elective class at DHS.