The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and Build A Plane today announced they are opening registration for the 2018 Aviation Design Challenge, an annual competition promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills among U.S. high school students through aviation.
“I’m thrilled that on this day dedicated to celebrating aviation in the U.S., we can announce we are hosting the Aviation Design Challenge for a sixth consecutive year, and expanding our capacity for schools to register to 110,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “It is critical to the general aviation manufacturing industry that we attract and cultivate the future workforce. This program has proven to be an excellent entry point for high school students and a valuable educational resource for their teachers, mentors and administrators.”
GAMA will provide the first 110 schools that register complimentary “Fly to Learn” curriculum and software, powered by X-Plane, that teach aerodynamic and aviation engineering principles. Teachers will guide students through the science of flight and airplane design, completing the curricula in approximately six weeks in the classroom or in four weeks through an accelerated program. Schools will then apply that knowledge to modify an airplane design and complete a mission in a virtual fly-off using the software, which GAMA judges will score based on application of what the team learned, and performance parameters. Four students, one teacher and one chaperone from the winning team will receive an all-expenses-paid trip during the summer of 2018 to experience general aviation manufacturing firsthand.
The nationwide competition has attracted growing interest each year since its inception in 2013. This year, 93 schools from 31 states and Washington, DC, registered for the competition — an 18 percent increase in participation from 2016. As a result of the competition, several past winners and entrants are now pursuing careers in aviation.
“The chance for our students to compete in the Aviation Design Challenge broadened horizons in ways that we would not have been able to do without GAMA,” said Matt Caffey, Principal of Olney High School, the 2017 winning school. “Our students winning is one of the most exciting things to happen at Olney High School this year.”
To learn more about the competition or to register, please visit the GAMA website.