Competition Complete: Need for Speed Hypersonic Video Contest

Thank you to all of our participants, and congratulations to our winners!


High School Category

First Place - Kate Lee, Poquoson High School, Poquoson, VA Watch Kate's Video

Second Place - Ishan Bhikha, Independence High School, Ashburn, VA Watch Ishan's Video

Third Place - Eyuel Berhanu, Washington-Liberty High School, Arlington, VA Watch Eyuel's Video

Undergraduate Category

First Place - Emma Lenz, University of Minnesota Watch Emma's Video

Second Place - Anitha Koka, Purdue University Watch Anitha's Video

Third Place (tie) - Hanna Fenstermaker, The Ohio State University Watch Hanna's Video

Third Place (tie) - Kevin Wallace, Purdue University Watch Kevin's Video

People's Choice

Molly Hutchison, Collegiate School, Richmond, VA Watch Molly's Video

What the Contest Was About

Imagine a day when you could travel from coast to coast in less than an hour! Such travel could become a reality with hypersonic flight — five times or more faster than the speed of sound. The Need for Speed Hypersonic Video Contest was designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists who can create and sustain hypersonic technologies of the future.

The contest had two categories based on age group and academic enrollment. Students at each level were invited to use their creativity and imagination to produce two-minute videos answering one of these questions:

  • High school students: How do you think hypersonic flight could help humanity in the future?
  • College undergraduate students: What is one big challenge preventing hypersonic flight from becoming an everyday reality, and how could you envision solving it?

First-prize winners in each category won $1,000. Second-place winners in each category won $450; third-place winners got $200, and a people's choice award-winner received $100.

Universities and governmental agencies want to encourage high school and college students to consider exciting careers in hypersonics because a large number of engineers and scientists, with a wide range of expertise, talents and skills, will be needed to develop capabilities of the future, including:

  • Using hypersonic aircraft in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Using humans as pilots in hypersonic aircraft.
  • Space missions like travel to Mars and other planets.

A coalition of universities - University of Virginia, University of Tennessee Space Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, Florida A&M University, Florida State University, Purdue University and Missouri University of Science and Technology - is working to attract high school and college students to work in fields related to hypersonics so these technologies can become a reality.

On behalf of the coalition, the Need for Speed Hypersonic Video Contest was hosted by the University of Virginia School of Engineering and was supported through funding from the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office within the U.S. Department of Defense. The contest was held in collaboration with the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics.

Hypersonics Partner University Logos

UVA Engineering is partnered with other top universities in efforts to attract high school and college students to work in fields related to hypersonics so these technologies can become a reality.

More Information about Hypersonic Research