Every year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) holds an exciting Aviation Design Challenge. This competition was created for high school students in the United States as a way to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) amongst young people. It has proven to be very popular, as the slots for the 2018 competition have already filled up faster than ever. It took less than two months for registration to be completely filled.
The annual Aviation Design Challenge began in 2013, so next year will mark the sixth edition of the competition. It is going to be the biggest one so far. There are 130 high schools registered to take part in the event. Students from 34 different states will be participating, many of whom are brand new to the Challenge.
This surge of interest from high schoolers across the country is exciting for the aviation industry. The event is a wonderful introduction to aviation for teenagers, and the skills they learn and use throughout the competition can create lifelong lovers of all things related to aviation. It allows students to use their STEM skills through practical application, demonstrating to them what they can accomplish with that knowledge.
While the numbers for the 2018 event alone are impressive, the total of high schools that have participated since the beginning of the Aviation Design Challenge reaches close to 400. The students that have taken part in the event have come from 43 different states. With its continual growth, the event is bound to have a growing impact on young people and their interest in aviation. STEM subjects are increasingly important in high school and beyond, so interest in this event is sure to increase every year.
There is an exciting prize for the winning team in this competition. The students, along with a teacher, will travel to Glasair Aviation for the chance to assist a crew in building a plane. They will work over a two week period to make a Glasair Sportsman. This will give the winning students the experience of what it is like to actually build a plane.