Continuing its effort to foster high school student interest in STEM careers, GAMA kicked off registration for the 2020 Aviation Design Challenge this week. The competition involves use of an aviation-focused curriculum, including aircraft design work and a virtual fly-off.
First held in 2013, the challenge has attracted participation of more than 3,000 students in at least 400 high schools across 47 states and Washington, D.C. The design challenge has served as a catalyst for a number of past participants to pursue aviation careers, GAMA said.
“This will be our eighth consecutive year hosting this competition,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “As our industry’s workforce and talent needs continue to grow, this program remains a valuable tool in creating a pipeline for the future success of aviation and for paying it forward to the next generation to provide them with STEM skills and career opportunities.”
The first 150 schools to register will receive a complimentary “Fly to Learn” curriculum, along with X-Plane flight simulator software. Under the challenge, teachers guide students through the principles of flight and airplane design over a four- to six-week curriculum. High school teams will then modify an airplane design and compete in a virtual fly-off. GAMA judges score the fly-off based on application of what was learned and performance parameters. Winners receive a trip to a GA manufacturer.