Press Release

A record 130 middle school and high school teams compete in the Fly Your Ride STEM-based flying car finals at the San Diego Air & Space Museum

Generously sponsored by SDG&E and the Best Buy Foundation, Fly Your Ride encourages local students to employ STEM.

A record 344 teams entered Fly Your Ride this year, including 272 middle school and 72 high school teams from Southern California.

San Diego, CA –  More than 130 local middle school and high school teams competed in Fly Your Ride, a STEM-based flying car competition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park recently.

Generously sponsored by SDG&E and the Best Buy Foundation, Fly Your Ride encourages local students to employ science, technology, engineering and math in a fun, homemade flying car competition.

A record 344 teams entered Fly Your Ride this year, including 272 middle school and 72 high school teams from Southern California, the most since the competition’s inception in 2012. The 130 teams which ultimately advanced to the finals were chosen based on their blueprints and designs meeting the standards established by the Museum’s Education Department.

The middle school division featured 63 teams, with the first place winner in the distance category ending in a tie between Jonathan Howo and Achuth Krishna, both from Marshall Middle School, when each of their cars flew over an impressive 6.5 feet.

The third place finisher in the middle school distance competition went to Dru Gupta, also from Marshall Middle School, after his car flew more than 6 feet. The Creativity in Engineering award went to Laura Ellis, also representing Marshall Middle School. Gabi Herman from La Jolla Country Day School was awarded with Honorable Mention for Creativity in Engineering, and Lucy Liu and Kate Rees from Marshall Middle School received the Creativity in Design award.

Also receiving Honorable Mentions for Creativity in Design in the middle school division: Ramses Lara, Hayden Loarie, and Hunter Mellinger from Joan MacQueen Middle School; Daniela Mendoza-Diaz from La Jolla Country Day School; and Camila Hernandez and Nathaniel Shiffer from Wilson Junior High School.

Twenty-seven teams competed in the high school division, with Ashwin Kumar and Adib Mazloom of Scripps Ranch High School winning first place in the distance division after their car flew more than 5.5 feet. Second place distance belonged to Aaron Garcia and Max Lopez from the Preuss School after their car traveled more than 5 feet through the air. Joe Senoff of La Jolla High School earned third place with a distance of 4.5 feet.

Also in the high school division, Liam Brinton from La Jolla High School was awarded Creativity in Engineering. Dylan Tran from Scripps Ranch High School received an Honorable Mention for Creativity in Engineering. Brandon Roberts of La Jolla High School earned Creativity in Design, and Honorable Mention for Creativity in Design went to Aurana Lo and Quinton Lo from La Jolla High School.

Registration for the annual Fly Your Ride competition typically runs from October until the following January, followed by judging of the entries from January to February. The Fly Your Ride finals at the San Diego Air & Space Museum happen each April. Although entries in past years have been limited to San Diego County students, this year’s competition was open to all of Southern California. Schools and organizations outside of the region have started to take notice of this competition; the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage, Alaska is working with local school districts to host a similar activity.

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The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Now showing: Be the Astronaut, a fun, interactive experience where you fly and spaceship, drive a rover and land on the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and an asteroid. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with admissions until 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

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