The FAA Is Teaching Kids How to Build an Airport With This New Online Course

With the help of Minecraft, of course.

Put your kids' gaming skills to use and let them design the airports of the future — with help from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA is hosting a seven-week interactive online course called the "Airport Design Challenge" this fall, teaching kids exactly what goes into building an airport. But before your kids roll their eyes, let them know they'll be using what may already be one of their favorite activities: Minecraft.

Every week, FAA aerospace and engineering experts will provide videos and links guiding kids through the process of building their own airports using the favorite game.

"Participating students meet aviation professionals, engage with other designers, and learn about the aerospace industry," according to the program description. "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."

They will learn about their local airport and everything that goes into it, with topics like airport layout, pavement and lighting, structures and innovative growth. Kids will participate in weekly knowledge check assignments and submit their work via screenshots for feedback.

Through the program, kids will gain STEM-based applied knowledge in math, engineering, and career development.

Kids in grades K-12 (split between K-6 and 7-12) can participate and will earn certificates for making a primary or non-primary airport. Kids can work individually or collaboratively on teams of up to five people.

The program is being hosted by the FAA's STEM Aviation and Space Education (AVSED) Virtual Learning and Collaboration.

The course begins Nov. 15 and wraps up on Jan. 14, 2022. Participants must register by Nov. 14 to join the online course.

For more information or to sign up for this session, visit the FAA website.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at

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