Oshkosh, WI— The winners of the GAMA/Build A Plane 2016 Aviation Design Challenge—students Derrick Cleaves, Logan Feltz, Austin Krause, and Natasha Stemwedel, teacher Mike Hansen, and chaperone Jerry Graf of Weyauwega-Fremont High School in Weyauwega, WI—will attend EAA AirVenture July 27-28 to thank sponsors and share their experience with elected officials.
Over the two days, the winning team—along with four other students and teachers instrumental to their success—will meet with leaders from Glasair Aviation, Embraer, Garmin International, GE Aviation, Hartzell Propeller Inc., Jeppesen, Lycoming Engines, and Wipaire, Inc., all of which sponsored the fourth annual competition. The team will describe their winning entry and how they assisted builder Dennis Willows and his family construct a Glasair Sportsman airplane at Glasair Aviation in Arlington, WA during two weeks last month.
In addition, the Weyauwega-Fremont team will brief a group of elected officials from across the U.S.—including several lieutenant governors—about what they learned in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) competition and their experience in assembling a general aviation aircraft firsthand. The competition, which attracted 76 entries from high schools in 31 states, required teams to use “Fly to Learn” curricula and training, including software powered by X-Plane, to learn the basics of aerodynamic engineering. They then applied those principles to modify and fly a virtual Cessna 172SP from one airport to another, delivering a maximum payload as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“The Aviation Design Challenge sponsored by GAMA and the Two Weeks To Taxi program at Glasair Aviation are experiences my students will never forget,” teacher Mike Hansen said. “The progress each of the students made in the areas of communication, teamwork, and technical skills will serve them well for the rest of their lives. Every aspect of this experience, from using the X-Plane software to the in-depth hands-on training they received in Arlington, Washington, has been an opportunity for the students to grow and experience science and engineering in a very unique and exciting way.”
Before the build, the students met with U.S. Representative Reid Ribble (R-WI), who represents their district, at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation’s facility in Appleton, WI. Additionally, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA), who represents Arlington, WA, and serves as the Ranking Member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, traveled to Glasair to talk with the students during the second week of the build.
“Having the winning students attend EAA AirVenture is the perfect capstone to this year’s Aviation Design Challenge,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “The incredible experiences these very talented young people have had over the last six months makes them powerful advocates for our industry as they demonstrate the value of STEM-based education and general aviation’s promising future as we develop the next generation of pilots, mechanics, engineers, and maintenance professionals.”
Sponsors of the GAMA/Build A Plane 2016 Aviation Design Challenge include BBA Aviation, Bose Corporation, Cirrus Aircraft, Embraer, Garmin International, GE Aviation, Glasair Aviation, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Hartzell Propeller Inc., Jeppesen, Jet Aviation, Lycoming Engines, Rockwell Collins, Textron Aviation, and Wipaire Inc.