July 3, 2014 – Students of Sunrise Mountain High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, won the second General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)/Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge in May and completed a Glasair Sportsman on June 27 in Arlington, Washington, through Glasair Aviation’s Two Weeks to Taxi program.
The students built 51 percent of the airplane and were assisted by the Glasair staff. The students, referred to as the Formula X team, of Sunrise Mountain High School included Alberto Carlos Alvarado, Joshua Carlson, Kenneth Ellis, and Jose G. Rodriguez, Jr., as well as teacher Thitiya Pathakkhinang and advisors Reza Karamooz and John Kanuch.
Nigel Mott, president of Glasair Aviation, said what the students have accomplished is remarkable. “We hope that this experience will compel them toward careers in aviation as pilots, engineers or mechanics,” Mott said.
While in Arlington the team visited aviation sites near Seattle, including the Boeing Company’s factory in Everett and The Museum of Flight. The students also had the chance to experience flight in different aircraft. For some, this was their first time flying in a non-commercial airplane.
The competition was organized by GAMA and Build A Plane to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills among high school students.