BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Students at Boynton Beach Community High School are one step closer to winning a worldwide competition hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Boynton Aerospace Science Academy (BASA) was recently named a finalist in the FAA's Airport Design Challenge.
The competition included more than 12,000 students from 21 countries.
Students say their achievement came as no surprise.
"We had six weeks to finish the project, but we finished in like three and a half so we had high hopes," Sebastien Monroy said.
The group was tasked with recreating the Boca Raton Airport on the virtual platform Minecraft.
“The good news is that every day our students have an opportunity to sit in front of college professors, every day they are exposed to an upper-echelon curriculum," Principal Dr. Anthony Lockhart said.
The innovative program was made possible through a special partnership with The Palm Beach County School District and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. It equips students with an unparalleled skillset in a variety of different fields.
“Aeronautical science, maintenance, airport management, and drone as well," said Mark Herzberg, a Professor with Embry Riddle Aeronautics University.
After graduation many students are already licensed pilots and go on to further their education. Madison Fauntleroy is a sophomore. Her ultimate goal is to become a commercial pilot and serve in the United States Airforce.
“You know being around classmates who share the same passion or common goal, that’s what I enjoy most about this program," she said.
Sebastian Monroy has high hopes of becoming the first in his family to work as an aerospace engineer
"At first, I wanted to be in computer engineering which is still something I want to do, but, coming to BASA that kind of sparked my
passion for aviation," Monroy said.
The specialized program also offers students up to 30 college credits toward their degree and in some cases scholarships, creating the perfect opportunity for students to aim high and achieve successful careers in aviation.
"You know they say the sky is the limit, this program there are no limits we're so proud of our students
we're so proud of our program here at Boynton Beach Community High School," Lockhart said.
Winners of the competition will be announced at 2 p.m. on Thursday during a live virtual FAA awards ceremony.