The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has opened registration for the 2019 Aviation Design Challenge, an annual competition designed to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in U.S. high schools through aviation curriculum and a virtual fly-off.
“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 GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “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.”
Registration closes as soon as the 150 slots are filled, GAMA officials note.
GAMA will provide registered schools complimentary “Fly to Learn” curriculum that is developed in alignment with national STEM standards, along with free X-Plane software.
Teachers will guide students through the principles of the science and engineering 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 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.
The nationwide competition has attracted growing interest each year since its inception in 2013. In 2018, 130 schools across 39 states registered for the competition — a 37% increase in participation from 2017. Because of the competition, several past winners and entrants are now pursuing careers in aviation.
To learn more about the competition or to register, go to the GAMA Aviation Design Challenge webpage.
GAMA has posted videos on YouTube about the challenge. Here’s the one from 2013: