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Airport Design Challenge

Airport Design Challenge  

Enrollment for the 2024 Season has begun!

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The Airport Design Challenge (ADC) is an interactive learning and collaboration opportunity for students in grades K-12. The FAA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Aviation and Space Education (STEM AVSED) Program organizes and sponsors this exciting challenge.

What You Can Expect

  • Small teams of students work together to learn about their local airport and to complete development tasks in Minecraft
  • Organized lesson plans covering topics from airport layout, pavement, lighting, structures, and innovative growth
  • Collaborative work between students, parents, and teachers performed in a virtual environment

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Join our mailing list for updates on future design challenges and STEM-AVSED events and opportunities or view our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more!

Work with Aviation Professionals and Designers to Learn about the Aerospace Industry

During the Airport Design Challenge, students have the opportunity to design virtual airports in Minecraft based on guidance from FAA aerospace and engineering experts. Participating students meet aviation professionals, engage with other designers, and learn about the aerospace industry. The challenge offers first-hand experience in an aviation-related application of STEM concepts and helps students apply their academic knowledge and skills to professional simulations.

While participants are encouraged to form teams of up to five members, they may also participate individually. Instructional modules cover topics ranging from airport layout, to pavement and lighting, then on to structures, and finally, innovative growth. Module knowledge check assignments and screenshots of students’ designs are used to assess progress and provide feedback.

Congratulations to the 2023 winners!

Watch presentations from all 12 finalists in our 2023 Airport Design Challenge finalists YouTube playlist

The Minecraft Expert
Atlantic City International Airport
Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Elijah's DBQ Design
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark, NJ

Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Detroit, MI

Greenville Airbourne
Pickens County Airport
Liberty, SC

2023 Airport Design Challenge Finalists

K-6 Primary
1 - The Minecraft Expert
ACY - Atlantic City International Airport
2 - AK Airline Design Crew
EWR - Newark Liberty International Airport
3 - Billy the Pig
BZN - Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport
K-6 Non-Primary
1 - Elijah's DBQ Design
DBQ - Dubuque Regional Airport
2 - Windy City Airport Constructors
ARR - Aurora Municipal Airport
3 - Minecraft Builders 101
AUG - Augusta State Airport
7-12 Primary
1 - Aero 
DTW - Detroit Metropolitan Airport
2 - Pixel Pilots
MCI - Kansas City International Airport
3 - Goofy Goobers
FAI - Fairbanks International Airport
7-12 Non-Primary
1 - Greenville Airbourne
LQK - Pickens County Airport
2 - Cow Burger and muffins of course MH MH MH Chicken!!!
GDV - Dawson Community Airport
3 - BMB
SJC - San José Mineta International Airport

Anything is Possible in the Airport Design Challenge

Click on each image below to see what past ADC teams have done to complete development tasks. 

American Trio
OKC Will Rogers World Airport
Oklahoma City, OK

Straw Hat Pilots
Kingston-Ulster Airport
Kingston, NY

Matthew the Young Aviator
Malta International Airport
Luqa, Malta

WV Mountain Airs
West Virginia International Yeagar Airport
Charleston, WV

Open Pro Minecrafters
David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport
Houston, TX

Navy Dolphins
Dulles International Airport
Dulles, VA

ADC Annual Milestones

September 1

Enrollment Opens for New Year
September-August Students enroll and work through ADC tasks
August 31 Annual cut-off for Airport Design entries (anyone submitting work after this date will be entered in the next year's competition)
October Virtual Awards Ceremony