NSBE team with check

During the National Society of Black Engineers National Conference last week, the Temple NSBE Chapter took First Place at the Boeing Flight Competition for the second consecutive year and third time since 2012. But it was how they won this time that set them apart.

The competition included two components: presentation and design examining various aspects of building and construction and another for flight distance.

Working with Boeing engineer Kenneth Carter—a member of the 2012 Temple team and current advisor—they came about as prepared as you would expect. Then came the launch.

As part of their glider's construction, the team affixed a simple thumb tack to the underside of the glider and wrapped a rubber band around it to pull and snap, using the force to propel the glider into flight.

"We went last and it was a roller coaster," said ECE major Lisa Antoine, one of the team members.

"We weren't supposed to go last. We had tested twice before and both times it went over 80 feet," added teammate and CE major Brendon Creed.

The flight before them was 98 feet. The one behind that was 80 feet. Their first launch? 43 feet.

"I felt the thumb tack slipping," Creed added. After some quick modifications, the team was able to launch again, sending their balsa wood glider soared 109 feet, 31 feet farther than their winning distance one year prior. And while they fell short of the overall competition record of 189 feet, they did pass one team: Kenneth Carter's 2012 group, which hit 90 feet.

"Kenneth said, this year you have to beat my 90, and we did, which is awesome," Antoine laughed.

See the team's winning flight and the rest of their journey on Twitter.

Student competitions on the horizon

Stay tuned for other College of Engineering student organization competitions coming up, including the Temple Robotics at the NASA Robotic Mining Competition, Temple Formula Racing competing at SAE Michigan and more.