GAMA Announces STEM Competition

Previous winners have hailed from Minnesota, Michigan and Nevada.

GAMA STEM Build a Plane Competition
A high school student works on an airplane wing.GAMA

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) today announced the opening of the fifth GAMA/Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge. The annual competition uses aviation topics as methods to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills among U.S. high school students.

As an incentive, GAMA said the first 100 high schools entering the competition receive complimentary Fly to Learn curriculum and software powered by X-Plane. The package helps teach aerodynamic and aviation engineering principles and can be completed either in class or in an after-school program. Once they've become immersed in the project, teachers and students will apply their knowledge to modify an airplane design and complete a mission in a virtual fly-off using the software. Only one team per school may enter, and each must consist of at least four students, including at least one female and one male student. Four winning students, one teacher and one chaperone will receive an all-expenses-paid trip during the summer of 2017 to experience general aviation manufacturing firsthand at a location yet to be determined.

GAMA STEM Build a Plane Competition
High school students in GAMA's program will modify an airplane design and complete a mission in a virtual fly-off.GAMA

GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said, “As our industry looks for more talented young people to fill the variety of aviation jobs that will open up in the coming years, this program has proven to be an excellent entry point for high school students and a valuable educational resource for their teachers, mentors and administrators.”

Air & Space magazine profiled the Aviation Design Challenge in an issue last fall.