PALMDALE, Calif. – April 14, 2014 – Students from Antelope Valley area high schools proved on April 5 that imagination and dedication can ignite innovation. Competing in the annual Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) High School Innovation Challenge (HSIC), the students took on an engineering problem with limited budget, resources and time. The challenge is modeled each year after a current Northrop Grumman program or engineering capability.

A video can be viewed at .

Saturday's competition, one of several HSIC events sponsored each year by Northrop Grumman, was held at William Pete Knight High School in Palmdale. It is designed to stimulate student interest in careers in scientific or engineering fields. The goal of this year's competition was to design and build a renewable-energy-powered model vehicle that could carry a payload as efficiently as possible over a set distance.

"The Northrop Grumman High School Innovation Challenge exposes students to the major steps required to develop, document and demonstrate an engineering concept," said Krystal Puga, a systems engineer on Northrop Grumman's James Webb Space Telescope project and the company's HSIC deputy coordinator. "It teaches them how to develop, document and present their ideas; manage a schedule and budget; and prove that their concept meets the customer's requirements."

The teams participating in this year's HSIC included Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster; William Pete Knight High School in Palmdale; Palmdale High School in Palmdale; Lancaster High School in Lancaster; The Aerospace Academy in Palmdale; and Tehachapi High School in Tehachapi.

Over the course of the 12-week competition, the HSIC teams were mentored by a Northrop Grumman Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence engineer. The student teams were graded on their ability to develop and document their vehicle's design in a written report. Additionally, they presented their concept orally to a panel of engineers and had to prove their vehicle's performance on the test track.

The winner of the 2014 Northrop Grumman High School Innovation Challenge was Palmdale Aerospace Academy. Antelope Valley High School placed second, while Tehachapi High School was third. The spirit award for showing judges the most enthusiasm for teamwork and engineering was presented to Antelope Valley High School.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit for more information.

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