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Tennessee Teen Wins Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator Award For Year 2050 Helicopter Concept

As a 10th grader at Collierville High School, Vance enjoys the Robotics Club, band and the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS), a club within the school's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program. He credits STEM teacher Shelli Basher for inspiring him to take Sikorsky's Helicopter 2050 Challenge. 

Vance travelled to Sikorsky's Stratford, Conn., headquarters Nov. 19 with his father Bill, 12-year-old sister Anna, and Ms. Basher to receive the 2013 Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator trophy and scholarship check. He met with company engineers and toured the production lines where Sikorsky assembles the BLACK HAWK and SEAHAWK® helicopters for the U.S. Army and Navy.

"We're looking to trigger the excitement that kids feel when they put their skills and innovative thinking into science and technology challenges," said Judy Bankowski, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Sikorsky. "Students like Vance, who are stimulated and excited by science and technology at an early age, are more likely to consider this important field when they begin their careers."

The 2013 Sikorsky Helicopter 2050 Challenge also has four finalists. They are: Elizabeth Nelson, Savage, Minn.; Sabrina Curley, Collierville, Tenn.; Eric Scheuch, New London, N.H.; and Erik Diehl, Cape Neddick, Maine.

Sikorsky began the annual helicopter challenge in 2011 with By Kids For Kids, a Connecticut-based organization whose educational content inspires kids to become successful inventors. The Sikorsky challenge honors company founder Igor Sikorsky, who in 1939 led an engineering team that developed a vertical lift machine whose core design is still used in 95 percent of all helicopters flying today.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

By Kids For Kids® (BKFK®) is a platform that empowers youth invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. BKFK promotes youth social innovation and partners with leading corporations to inspire product development, crucial technology skills, invention, and innovation in young people. BKFK provides a unique platform for young people to develop, showcase, and commercialize their products, inventions and entrepreneurship.  BKFK's "cycle of innovation" develops critical 21st Century skills in our nation's youth. The company provides educational resources, curriculum and challenges that promote social change, product development and entrepreneurial endeavors. For more about BKFK visit

Learn more about Vance's winning S-2050 entry and the other Helicopter 2050 Challenge finalists at

SOURCE Sikorsky Aircraft

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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