Aug. 23, 2018

GAMA has opened registration for its 2019 Aviation Design Challenge, an annual competition the association hosts to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in U.S. high schools through aviation curriculum and a virtual fly-off. The competition allows students to gain hands-on experience in the design, project management and engineering that goes into building a plane.

“This will be our seventh consecutive year hosting this life-changing competition, and it will be our biggest one yet with our expansion of the school registration cap to 150 slots,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA president and CEO. “This program is a valuable tool for us to not only help educate the nation’s students about the science of flight and airplane design, but also tell them about all the exciting career options that lie ahead for them in the general aviation industry.”

GAMA will provide registered teams complimentary access to the “Fly to Learn” curriculum, which is developed in alignment with national STEM standards, along with free X-Plane software, which is the world’s most comprehensive and powerful flight simulator for personal computers. Teachers will guide students through the principles of 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.

The teams 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. The winning team will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to experience general aviation manufacturing firsthand during the summer of 2019.

GAMA and NBAA continually highlight the importance of business aviation in helping create and support more than 1 million high-paying, high-skill jobs, including those in the STEM fields, through the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign.

GAMA’s nationwide competition has attracted growing interest each year since its inception in 2013. In 2018, 130 schools across 39 states registered for the competition. Registration is limited to the first 150 U.S. high schools that complete the registration form. Teams can be either high school classes or after-school programs and must include four students, including at least one male student and one female student, with the exception of single-sex schools. Only one team per school may enter.

Learn more about GAMA’s Aviation Design Challenge.