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MHS Student Wins International Aviation Competition

(Mustang, Oklahoma – January 21, 2021) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) held a virtual awards ceremony for their Airport Design Challenge on Thursday, January 21, 2021, and Mustang High School sophomore, Spencer Kemp, was announced as the 1st Place Winner in the Primary Airport category.  

The Airport Design Challenge gives students the opportunity to design virtual airports in Microsoft Minecraft based on guidance from FAA aerospace and engineering experts. Participating students meet aviation professionals during the challenge and learn about the aerospace industry. For middle- and high-school students, this is a chance to get first-hand experience in an aviation-related application of STEM concepts and careers. While participants are encouraged to form teams of up to five members, they may also participate individually. During the five weeks of organized lesson plans, participants cover topics ranging from airport layout, pavement and lighting to structures and innovative growth. Program facilitators use weekly knowledge–check quizzes and screen shots of students’ designs to assess progress and provide feedback.


Spencer recreated The Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) in Oklahoma City in the Microsoft Minecraft universe.  “I learned a lot through this FAA challenge,” Spencer said during the ceremony.  “I learned about the function of airports, the design process and planning; I learned about building airports and using data from Google Earth as well as video editing.”  The Director of Airports for the City of Oklahoma City and Manager of the Oklahoma City Airports Trust over Will Rogers World Airport, Mark Kranenburg, congratulated Spencer for doing an “absolutely outstanding job on his project,” and invited him for a tour of the facility.  Dr. Kathy Knowles, Mustang High School principal, spoke on behalf of the high school and echoed that sentiment. “We are proud of you and very impressed with your work on this project; you are a wonderful student and we can’t thank you enough for your commitment and all that you do for our school.”


Video of Awards Ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqzMqHmltxg 


About the FAA

More information available here:  https://www.faa.gov/about/ 


About Mustang Public Schools

The Mustang Public School District covers over 72 square miles in Oklahoma and Canadian counties with the City of Mustang at its center. The district is the largest employer in Canadian County, with more than 1,500 certified and support employees. As one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces, the school district offers a comprehensive compensation package for full-time employees, in addition to a satisfying working environment. There are eight elementary schools (grades PreK-4), three intermediate centers (grades 5-6), three middle schools (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12), and an educational center which houses pre-kindergarten and alternative education.

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