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GAMA Provides GA Experiences to Aviation Design Challenge Winners

Published Date: Oct 31, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The winning teams of General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s (GAMA) 2023 Aviation Design Challenge recently completed their prize experiences. The first-place team from McIntosh High School, in Peachtree City, Georgia, was awarded a general aviation manufacturing experience. The second-place team from Gonzaga College High School, in Washington, D.C., was awarded a flight simulation STEM lab.

“GAMA was thrilled to be able to provide these incredible experiences to such bright and talented students. These experiences allow for students to come away with an immense understanding of the different facets of the industry which helps open minds and further interest about the rewarding career opportunities and experiences that our industry provides,’ said Pete Bunce, GAMA President and CEO.

The team from McIntosh High School participated in a CubCrafters Manufacturing Experience, in Yakima, Washington. The team spent four days at CubCrafters learning and receiving hands-on exposure to composites, metal fabrication, machinery, welding and the manufacturing assembly line. In addition to showcasing the hard work and talents that go into manufacturing aircraft, the students were challenged to work with the CubCrafters engineering team to develop, prototype and test methods to seal a skylight vent. The team also visited The Museum of Flight and enjoyed various demonstration flights.

“The CubCrafters team was once again honored to open our doors and provide an opportunity for students to get an in-depth, firsthand experience of the aircraft manufacturing industry. The students from McIntosh High School showed a great interest in learning more about the different jobs and functions throughout our facility and enthusiastically approached the engineering challenge we presented them. We look forward to continuing to work with GAMA on offering this engaging experience,” said Patrick Horgan, CubCrafters President and CEO.

The team from McIntosh High School participate in its CubCrafters Manufacturing Experience.

The team from Gonzaga College High School participated in a Redbird Flight STEM Lab hosted at their school. The team spent two days learning about the basic elements of flying, piloting rules, acronyms and language, weather theory and flight planning. At the completion of the STEM lab, the students were challenged to a competition that incorporated all of that they had learned to plan and execute a cross country flight. In addition to the Redbird Flight experience, the team attended, as guests of GAMA, an Aero Club of Washington luncheon featuring Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth as the guest speaker.

“The Redbird Flight STEM Lab provides a fun and engaging learning atmosphere that allows the students to immerse themselves in the aviation world. The students from Gonzaga College High School really enjoyed the experience and came away with a better understanding of what it takes to be a pilot. We take pride in being able to continually offer this great experience to students which exposes them to the world of general aviation and fosters interest in STEM fields,” said Charlie Gregoire, Redbird Flight COO and President.

The team from Gonzaga College High School participates in the Redbird Flight STEM Lab.

“Through GAMA’s Aviation Design Challenge, we are able to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the science of flight and mechanics of manufacturing aircraft through fun and inspiring experiences. The strong support from the sponsors of the challenge and participating schools have helped grow the program and inspire students to consider a future in the aviation industry. We look forward to once again hosting the challenge and these great experiences in 2024,” said Bunce.

The sponsors of the 2023 Aviation Design Challenge include Boeing, Bombardier, Camp Systems, Cirrus Aircraft, Click Bond, CubCrafters, Embraer, Garmin, Hartzell Propeller, Jet Aviation, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Redbird Flight, Signature Aviation, Textron Aviation and Wipaire.

Registration for the 2024 Aviation Design Challenge is currently open. To register and to learn more about the challenge, please visit Registration closes on December 17, 2023, or once all available slots are filled.