Students rise above for helicopter challenge

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STRATFORD--Sikorsky offers students a unique spin, and one Connecticut girl rose to the challenge.

hana bidonThe helicopter maker put kids to the test to create the chopper of the future in what is called the "Helicopter 2050 Challenge."

After receiving 400 different designs from students across the country, engineers at Sikorsky picked the diagrams and blueprints for a copter called the Sky Lift 986, which was created by Hana Bidon, a 16-year old junior at the Engineering and Science Magnet School in Hamden.  Bidon, who is from West Haven, said "I came up with the helicopter idea from doing lots of background research." Bidon's copter of the future calls for a solar system, sikorsky challengeionic thrusters and a full rescue apparatus to assist in natural disasters.

The challenge is in its fourth year and is geared, in part,  to promote STEM programs in schools.  Sue Hitchcock, a community affairs manager at Sikorsky, said, "We want [students] to get excited about math and science and technology because they are our future workforce."

sikorsky checkFor her efforts, Bidon earned a $1,000 scholarship check and was invited with her family and teachers to take a tour of the Sikorsky factory. Bidon is the first student from Connecticut to win the challenge.

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