FAA Virtual Airport Design Challenge Takes Off

The Federal Aviation Administration Aviation and Space Education Airport Design Challenge registration opens November 1, 2021. 

Learn more here: https://www.faa.gov/education/virtual_learning/airport_design/videos/

Register here: https://www.faa.gov/education/virtual_learning/airport_design/registration/

This annual competition is an opportunity for K-12 students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects to meet aviation professionals and learn about the aerospace industry and STEM concepts and careers. 

“The Airport Design Challenge is a perfect fit of science, technology, engineering and math which is so much a part of what we do at the FAA and so important to pass on to the next generation.” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. 

The Airport Design Challenge helps students use the Microsoft game Minecraft to design virtual airports based on guidance from FAA aerospace and engineering experts.

Students will collaborate in small teams to learn about their local airports and to complete developmental tasks in Minecraft. During the five weeks of organized lesson plans, participants will cover topics ranging from airport layout, pavement and lighting to structures and innovative growth. Program facilitators will use weekly knowledge-check quizzes and screen shots of students’ designs to assess progress and provide feedback.

“The one thing that I found most intriguing about this whole program, was that the Airport Design Challenge allows students of all ages to compete at a global level, while also being able to have fun and learn at the same time,” said Arjun Saini a lead on Team Aireos, which placed in the top three during last year’s Challenge.  

Collaborative work between students, parents and facilitators will focus on applying STEM-based knowledge in math, engineering and career development. While participants are encouraged to form teams of up to five members, they may also participate individually. 

The virtual event is open to both U.S. and international students. Last year, approximately 800 students participated and many more are expected this year.

The FAA Airport Design Challenge website has more information about the competition and how to register.

October 29, 2021

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