Metropolitan Atlanta high school students from Riverwood International Charter School emerged victorious in the General Aviation Manufacturers Association 2020 Aviation Design Challenge despite facing “unforeseen and difficult challenges” because of the coronavirus pandemic, GAMA noted in a news release.
The class from Sandy Springs, Georgia, participated in the event for the first time and will be rewarded for their win with “a tour of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation; demonstration flights by Cirrus Aircraft; a tour of a Signature Flight Support FBO; virtual experiences including live demonstrations and career panel discussions presented by Dassault Falcon, ForeFlight and Garmin; and much more.”
The Harkness Career and Technical Center in Cheektowaga, New York, was the runner-up for the second consecutive year. Teacher Thomas Leach, an AOPA High School Aviation STEM Curriculum instructor and advocate, noted that his students started the challenge in the classroom but switched to online instruction in early March when the New York school system closed in-person classes. Leach said the team “had their ups and downs” but “gained many new experiences. It was great to mentor them and ultimately see them complete the competition this year.”
More than 80 high schools spanning 35 states competed in the contest.