Senior Christian Ray was recently named a semi-finalist of the USA Network’s Burn Notice Science Challenge. The contest is based off the network’s TV show Burn Notice, which follows the life of a blacklisted spy living in Miami, Florida. Ray says he often watches the show with his stepdad, and became aware of the sweepstakes after seeing a commercial for it during the show.
“After I saw the advertisement, I decided to just go for it,” Ray said. “I thought I might have a chance to win and that it would be pretty fun.”
The contest asked high school students to pick one of three secret agent scenarios and form a solution using science, technology, engineering, and math. Ray chose the mission entitled “Eye in the Sky,”, which asked contestants to devise a way to design an aerial drone that could film surveillance over a 20-foot wall. Ray said his idea was to attach a mirror to balloons that could float the drones above the enemy wall. After finalizing the plan with air pressure and physics equations, Ray submitted his outline. He was named a semi-finalist for his design, and received a $500 prize.
The next step for Ray is to actually try out his plan and build his drone. The deadline is Sunday, April 21, and the winner will be announced during May. The grand prize is a $10,000 scholarship and a chance to meet the cast of Burn Notice.
“I’m really happy I decided to try this out,” Ray said. “If the design works I think I could win, which would be a really cool opportunity.”