WASHINGTON, D.C. — The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and Build A Plane have named teams from Canby High School in Canby, Minnesota, and Saline High School in Saline, Michigan, as the winners of its nationwide Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) aviation design challenge competition.
Each winning team — consisting of four students, along with the teacher and a chaperone — will receive all-expense-paid trips to Glasair Aviation facilities in Arlington, Washington, to build a Glasair Sportsman aircraft over two weeks starting June 17.
In its first year, the GAMA and Build A Plane competition attracted entries from 27 schools in 22 states. The schools used complimentary “Fly to Learn” software, including curricula and training, which allowed them to design and fly their own virtual airplane. Each school entered a design to compete in a virtual fly-off, which were scored on aerodynamic and performance parameters. Judges from GAMA selected the winning high schools.
“To see the skills, ingenuity and creativity these students demonstrated in this competition gives me great confidence in the future of our industry’s engineering, maintenance and pilot workforce,” said GAMA President & CEO Pete Bunce. “This valuable experience promotes the real-world value of STEM education, as well as the career opportunities available in the aerospace engineering field.”
Under the guidance of staff from Glasair, Build A Plane and GAMA, each team will build a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, a metal and composite aircraft that seats four adults. Sold as a kit, the plane can be assembled with assistance in just two weeks through Glasair’s “Two Weeks to Taxi” program. The planes are scheduled to be flown to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where they will be featured at AirVenture 2013 from July 29-Aug. 4.
“The fact that these students will go from designing virtual airplanes on their computers at school to building real airplanes is no doubt an experience that will boost their confidence and hopefully shape their future,” said Build A Plane President and Founder Lyn Freeman.
Glasair is providing staff resources and workspace for the students. In addition to supplies and assistance, each team will receive round-trip airfare, transfers, hotels, meals and field trips to visit the nearby Boeing Aircraft factory and Museum of Flight.
“We are very excited to welcome this next generation of airplane enthusiasts to Glasair’s facility to work side by side with our staff as they build their aircraft,” said Nigel Mott, President of Glasair. “It’s a great mentoring opportunity for our team and a wonderful learning opportunity for these students. Watching their planes join the more than 160 Glasair Sportsman that are already flying will be very special.”
Follow the progress of the planes as they are built on GAMA’s Facebook page