For the fourth year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is pleased to sponsor the Aviation Design Challenge, a competition for U.S. high school students that promotes STEM knowledge through aviation. Teachers who enter their schools will receive complimentary Fly to Learn curriculum (both student and teacher versions), as well as five complimentary copies of airplane design and simulation software powered by X-Plane. The curriculum and software, which teach the basics of aerospace engineering and design principles, can be used either in the classroom or as an extracurricular activity. Students will then apply the knowledge they gain to modify and fly their own virtual airplane in a fly-off.


Registration for the competition is limited to the first 100 teams that enter and is open until January 31, 2016. Fly to Learn will offer complimentary webinars from February 15-March 31, 2016, with the competition taking place between April 1-30, 2016. The prize will include an all-expenses-paid trip for up to four high school students, one teacher, and one chaperone to experience general aviation manufacturing firsthand.


Only one team per school may enter and must consist of four students, including at least one female student and one male student.


Below, please find comments from some past winners about the educational value and life-changing opportunity presented by the competition:


“It was one of my fondest moments as a school principal,” said Grant Hanevold, Principal of Sunrise Mountain High School in Las Vegas, NV, which won the 2014 competition. “Thanks for providing this opportunity for my students, and for the generosity of your board. This competition, and ultimate victory, will be life-changing for my kids. I can’t thank you and the board enough for what you do, and for the positive impact you are making in the life of a kid.”


“The GAMA competition has taught us the importance of teamwork, creativity, and critical thinking,” said the CHEF Homeschoolers from Cuba City, WI, who won the 2015 competition. “We learned a great deal about STEM, how to test our aircraft consistently, and how to make very finite changes to our plane to get better results. The competition has been an excellent learning experience for us.”


To learn more about the competition and to register, please visit