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Registration open for student aircraft design competition

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the nonprofit organization Build A Plane announced that registration is open through Jan. 31, 2016, for their fourth Aviation Design Challenge, a competition that promotes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in U.S. high schools.

Teachers may register one team per school. The team must consist of four students and must include at least one female student and one male student. Registration will be limited to the first 100 schools that submit a team application.

Teachers who enter the competition will receive a “Fly to Learn” curriculum and five complimentary copies of airplane design and simulation software powered by X-Plane. The curriculum and software teach the basics of aerospace engineering and design principles, which students will apply to modify and fly a virtual airplane in a fly-off to win a prize that allows the winners, who will be announced in May 2016, “to experience general aviation manufacturing firsthand,” GAMA said in a press release.

In three years, the STEM curriculum that forms the basis for the competition has reached more than 150 high schools in 38 states and Washington, D.C., GAMA said.

“As we continue to look for innovative ways to attract more young people into the aviation field—whether as pilots, engineers, maintenance professionals, or manufacturers—the Aviation Design Challenge has been a resounding success, which is why we are so proud to sponsor this competition for a fourth year,” said GAMA President Pete Bunce.

Past winners include Canby High School in Canby, Minnesota; Saline High School in Saline, Michigan; Sunrise Mountain High School in Las Vegas; and the CHEF Homeschoolers in Cuba City, Wisconsin.

To learn more about the competition and to register, visit the GAMA 2016 Aviation Design Challenge website.

Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Aviation Industry, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Aviation Organizations

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