The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced today that it will hold the third Aviation Design Challenge in 2015. GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce made the announcement at the Build A Plane Teachers’ Day event at EAA AirVenture.
The nationwide competition to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills through aviation in U.S. high schools has attracted growing interest each year. In 2014, GAMA received entries from 79 schools in 33 states plus Washington, DC—nearly triple the number in 2013. Canby High School in Canby, MN and Saline High School in Saline, MI were the 2013 winners; Sunrise Mountain High School in Las Vegas, NV won in 2014.
“GAMA is very pleased to once again sponsor this life-changing program to increase students’ knowledge of STEM and educate them about the many career possibilities in the general aviation manufacturing field,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “Almost all of our winners have said this experience has altered their professional goals and opened their eyes to aviation-related career paths, including piloting, engineering, maintenance, and manufacturing. I am very excited we can bring this wonderful educational initiative to even more schools next year.”
GAMA will provide the first 100 teachers who enter the competition with “Fly to Learn” curriculum, as well as five complimentary copies of airplane design and simulation software powered by X-Plane, for their classrooms. The lessons can be used to teach the basics of aerospace engineering and design. Students will learn to apply their knowledge to modify and fly their own virtual airplane in a fly-off to win an exciting prize.
Grant Hanevold, the principal of Sunrise Mountain High School, wrote to GAMA after learning of his school’s win this year: “It was one of my fondest moments as a school principal. Thanks for providing this opportunity for my students, and for the generosity of your board. This competition, and ultimate victory, will be life-changing for my kids. I can’t thank you and the board enough for what you do, and for the positive impact you are making in the life of a kid.”
Teachers who are interested in learning more about the competition can send an e-mail with their name, school name, and the school’s city and state to STEMcompetition@gama.aero. GAMA will release more information about the competition later this year.